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Judge: abortion doctors should renew efforts to get hospital privileges

MADISON, Wis (WSAU-Wheeler News)  A federal judge told a Milwaukee abortion doctor yesterday to try again to get hospital admitting privileges. Judge William Conley said that if Dennis Christensen of Affiliated Medical Services can get patient admitting privileges at one of two hospitals, it could settle a lawsuit against a state law requiring such privileges. Conley said yesterday he was "bewildered" that Christensen could not get responses from any Milwaukee hospitals. He said the doctor should demand better answers from the two hospitals where he sought the privileges. Conley said he takes no pleasure in striking down a state law -- and if there's a way Christensen can get the hospital privileges, he should do that.

Planned Parenthood and A-M-S filed suit against the 2013 state law, saying the A-M-S clinic in Milwaukee would have to close because it's virtually impossible to get hospital privileges. Planned Parenthood was able to get those privileges for its clinic in Appleton -- but the group said it could not pick up the slack in Milwaukee if A-M-S couldn't do the same.

The state argues that continuous hospital care is needed for the abortion operations that develop complications at clinics. Rather than the state law, an expert that Judge Conley brought in suggested transfer agreements between hospitals and abortion clinics. A state expert said transfer agreements would not help if a woman gets complications after leaving an abortion facility.

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