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U.S. top court rejects Wisconsin abortion case

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to intervene in the legal fight over a new Wisconsin law that requires any doctor performing an abortion to have privileges to admit patients to a nearby hospital.

The justices turned away the state’s appeal of a December 2013 ruling by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld a federal judge’s decision to block the law temporarily.

Opponents of the state law say it could shut down half of Wisconsin's abortion clinics. It requires a doctor to have admitting privileges at a hospital located within 30 miles (48 km) of his or her practice.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and Affiliated Medical Services, the state's two abortion providers, challenged the measure in court, saying it could force abortion clinics in Appleton and Milwaukee to close.

The challengers noted in court papers that there was no need for the Supreme Court to review the lower court’s decision to impose an injunction because there will soon be a final ruling on the legal challenge.

The case is Van Hollen v. Planned Parenthood, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 13-1127.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Howard Goller and Grant McCool)