Planned Parenthood in Portage (copy) (copy) (copy)

The Planned Parenthood clinic in downtown Portage served about 800 people in 2014, including patients from Baraboo and Wisconsin Dells, among other places.

Jonathan Stefonek, CAPITAL NEWSPAPERS

The state of Wisconsin will pay three organizations, including Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, $1.6 million in legal fees for a lawsuit over the state's admitting privileges law. 

Last month, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and Affiliated Medical Services wrote in court filings that their legal bills totaled $1.8 million. The state Department of Justice said at the time it would likely challenge the request to ensure it didn't overpay. 

“Gov. (Scott) Walker’s unconstitutional abortion restrictions have proven to be an expensive bill for the taxpayers of Wisconsin," said Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin president and CEO Teri Huyck. "Funds that would be better spent ensuring that women in Wisconsin had access to basic birth control and preventive health care are instead being wasted on unconstitutional restrictions aimed at blocking access to abortion in our state."

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals in June from Wisconsin and Mississippi over laws that would require that abortion providers have admitting privileges to a hospital near their clinic. The court ruled earlier that week that a similar 2013 Texas law places an "undue burden" on a woman's right to end a pregnancy.

Walker signed Wisconsin's admitting privileges bill into law on July 5, 2013, just one month after it was introduced. The law was ruled unconstitutional by a federal appeals court in November 2015.

"The attorney general has spent two years appealing one court decision after another striking down Wisconsin’s unnecessary admitting privileges requirement. Federal courts not only found that this law violated the U.S. Constitution but also compromised women’s health in Wisconsin," Huyck said. "We call on Gov.Walker and legislative leaders to stop passing unconstitutional abortion restrictions and instead invest government resources in preventive health care that ensures women and families are able to have intended pregnancies."

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DOJ spokesman Johnny Koremenos said last month Attorney General Brad Schimel "stands by the litigation decisions he made."

"As the state’s chief legal counsel, the Attorney General has a duty to defend and enforce the laws that are duly enacted by our elected Legislature," he said.

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Jessie Opoien covers state government and politics for the Capital Times. She joined the Cap Times in 2013 and has also covered Madison life, race relations, culture and music. She has also covered education and politics for the Oshkosh Northwestern.