Wisconsin's Planned Parenthood clinics suspend non-surgical abortions


Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker stands on the North Lawn of the White House before making remarks to the news media after a meeting of the National Governors Association with President Barack Obama February 27, 2012 in Washington, DC.


Chip Somodevilla

Planned Parenthood's Wisconsin clinics will no longer provide women with abortion pills. 

Planned Parenthood officials said that they came to the decision because of a new law signed by Gov. Scott Walker two weeks ago, which took effect on Friday, the Associated Press reported.  

Under the law, a woman can only receive drugs to induce abortion if her doctor gives her a physical exam and is in the same room as her when she receives the drugs, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. In total, a woman seeking the abortion drugs must visit her doctor three times beforehand. Doctors who ignore the rules can be charged with a felony.

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Planned Parenthood does not support the law, but says that pill-induced abortions are too risky now under the legislation. "The added risks of felony penalties for physicians who provide medication abortion are unnecessary and intended to threaten a physician's ability to provide women with medication abortion," Planned Parenthood president and chief executive officer Teri Huyck told the AP.

About a quarter of abortions in Wisconsin are done through medication rather than through surgery, Reuters reported. The medication can be prescribed during the first nine weeks of pregnancy.

However, the law does not affect emergency contraception pills. And Planned Parenthood's Wisconsin clinics will continue to perform surgical abortions.

Still, the Wisconsin Medical Society said that the law goes too far. The organization told Reuters that the law "directly infringes on the special and private relationship between the patient and physician."