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JUNE 12, 1998
10:02 AM
Belle Taylor-McGhee, William Lutz
(202) 973-3032

Wisconsin Judge Rules Again:  So-Called "Partial-Birth" Abortion Ban Remains in Effect
WASHINGTON - June 12 - NARAL President Kate Michelman today denounced the ruling of a federal District Court Judge in Wisconsin who refused to grant a preliminary injunction on the state's so-called "partial-birth" abortion law. The law went into effect last month when the same judge, John C. Shabaz, refused to grant a temporary restraining order to stop it from going into effect. That action prompted doctors in the state to temporarily stop performing abortions altogether, essentially leaving Wisconsin women with no access to abortion services.

At the time, Judge Shabaz claimed that no relief was necessary because women had other alternatives to the procedures banned by the law, including hysterectomy and hysterotomy.

NARAL President Kate Michelman said Shabaz is clearly out of step with courts across the nation which have enjoined similar laws in whole or in part as unconstitutional. Michelman called the ruling "dangerous" and "unprecedented."

"This law has extraordinary scope and could even ban abortions in the earliest stages of pregnancy. Who would have thought that in 1998 - twenty-five years after Roe v. Wade - that women in an entire state would lose their constitutional right to choose," said Michelman.

To date 28 states have enacted so-called "partial-birth" abortion bans. Similar laws in five more states are scheduled to go into effect between now and mid-July, including Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Kansas, and Virginia.


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