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Judge upholds Wisconsin ban on some late-term abortions

June 12, 1998
Web posted at: 8:52 p.m. EDT (0052 GMT)

MADISON, Wisconsin (CNN) -- A U.S. District judge on Friday denied a request by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin to block enforcement of a state law banning some late-term abortions.

Judge John Shabaz denied the group's request for a preliminary injunction to delay the ban on so-called "partial-birth" abortions. The law took effect May 14.

The abortion procedure -- rarely used in Wisconsin -- involves partly delivering a fetus through the birth canal and then destroying it. Critics say the procedure is cruel and unnecessary.

Planned Parenthood argues that the law is vague and could result in other types of abortions being banned. The group also said the law's vague wording could result in prosecution of doctors doing other abortion procedures.

But Shabaz said the law won't prevent women from obtaining other types of legal abortions. The judge also said the law poses no threat to doctors doing legal abortion procedures.

Planned Parenthood and other plaintiffs were expected to appeal Shabaz's decision.

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