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Attorney General: Hospitals would violate Obamacare law if they banned abortions

JB Van Hollen (properly sized)
JB Van Hollen (properly sized)

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)   Wisconsin’s attorney general says three Catholic hospital networks would violate federal law if they refuse to let abortion doctors admit patients at those facilities. J-B Van Hollen said in a federal court filing that hospitals which take federal funds cannot discriminate against doctors because they’re involved with abortions.

Van Hollen is defending a new state law requiring abortion doctors to have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of their clinics. Planned Parenthood and Affiliated Medical Services have filed suit to strike down the measure, saying it’s unconstitutional and it would end all abortions north of Madison and Milwaukee.

Court records show that Wheaton Franciscan Health-care, the Hospital Sisters’ Health System, and Columbia-Saint Mary’s would not grant admitting privileges to abortion doctors. Planned Parenthood said recently that seven of its doctors have asked for local hospital privileges, and the group does not expect to get them.

Last week, Federal Judge William Conley of Madison blocked the new law at least until a trial in the case is finished in November. Van Hollen asked the judge yesterday to put the law into effect until then.