The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from Wisconsin over a law seeking to place restrictions on abortions, meaning the state's admitting privileges requirement will not be enforced.
The court rejected appeals on Tuesday from Wisconsin and Mississippi over laws that would require that abortion providers have admitting privileges to a hospital near their clinic.
The court ruled in a 5-3 decision released Monday that a similar 2013 Texas law places an "undue burden" on a woman's right to end a pregnancy.
The Texas law required all abortions be performed in strictly-regulated surgical centers, with standards including sizes of rooms and doorways and staffing levels, and required that all doctors maintain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. It resulted in the closure of several abortion providers throughout the state.
Wisconsin's law was ruled unconstitutional by a federal appeals court in November 2015.
"The Supreme Court’s decision today denying cert in Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin v. Schimel is not surprising given the Court’s decision yesterday in a similar Texas abortion law case," said Attorney General Brad Schimel. "The opinion by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals stands and those portions of our law addressed by the decision are now permanently enjoined."
Supporters of such laws say they're designed to protect women's health by setting stringent medical standards. But opponents say the changes aren't medically necessary and are designed to limit access to abortions.
A Planned Parenthood spokeswoman said Monday's ruling was a "victory for women."
"At Planned Parenthood, our top priority is patient safety. As the Court affirmed, these laws do nothing to enhance the health and safety of patients. It’s clear that the intention of these unnecessary restrictions was to put obstacles in the path of women seeking safe, legal abortion care," said Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin president and CEO Teri Huyck.
Gov. Scott Walker signed Wisconsin's admitting privileges bill into law on July 5, 2013, just one month after it was introduced.
"Today's decision from a divided court is a prime example of activist jurists imposing their will on the people," Walker said of Monday's ruling. "These issues should be left up to the democratic process. I believe in the sanctity of life and will always fight to protect it."
In addition to the admitting privileges law, Walker has signed some of the most aggressive anti-abortion measures in the nation while in office, including a bill that requires women to undergo ultrasound exams before getting abortions and a ban on abortions after 20 weeks.