Louisiana Can Now Enforce Its Ban On All Abortions Under A Judge’s Order

St. Paul, Minnesota – Protestors march against restrictive anti-abortion laws on May 21st, 2019. (Photo by Fibonacci Blue)

A judge in Louisiana has ruled that the state’s ban on almost all abortions can go into effect, despite challenges from supporters of abortion rights. The ban is a “trigger” law, meaning it was designed to take effect if the U.S. Supreme Court ever overturned the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

The judge made the decision on the same day that an executive order was issued to protect access to abortion in states where it is still legal. The order was made in response to the high court’s ruling on June 24 that could result in penalties for women seeking the procedure.

On the heels of the Supreme Court’s decision, a Louisiana District Judge issued a temporary restraining order that blocks the state from enforcing its new abortion legislation. This order was in response to a lawsuit filed by a north Louisiana abortion clinic and others.

Judge Julien said that she could not extend the restraining order because she decided that the case should not have been filed in her court. She said that the claims in the suit that some parts of the law are unconstitutionally vague and contradictory are matters involving legislation, and therefore should be handled in state court in Baton Rouge.

This ruling means that Jeff Landry and the state’s lawyers were right in their argument that the lawsuit should not have been filed in New Orleans.

The lawyers for the people who want to get rid of the law said they do not know what they will do next, but they will keep trying to win in Baton Rouge. The lead lawyer said today’s decision was just a small setback and not about whether their arguments are good or not.

A spokesperson for abortion clinics in New Orleans and Baton Rouge confirmed that no procedures or counseling are currently scheduled but clarified that this does not mean that the clinics will be shutting down. The next steps for the clinics will be decided based on any further actions taken by the state court in Baton Rouge.

Kathaleen Pittman, the administrator of the Hope Medical Group for Women in Shreveport, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, told The Associated Press that clinic staff were canceling all abortion appointments scheduled for Saturday. Pittman said no procedures or consultations had been scheduled for Friday, but the clinic would continue to schedule appointments for women to receive ultrasounds and counseling next week.

“It’s upsetting. It’s very difficult. It’s a very difficult day indeed,” Pittman said.

Advocating for clinics and doctors to not provide abortions, Landry said that if they choose to go against his advice, they are taking a risk.

Around 60 individuals assembled outside of the courthouse on Friday, holding signs that said things such as “Abortion is healthcare” and “Do you want women to die?”. The demonstrators, who are hoping to keep the state’s abortion clinics open, were critical of Landry, who has been a strong supporter of attempts to make abortion illegal throughout the state.

Advocates for abortion rights in many states have gone to court to argue against laws that restrict abortion. In Mississippi, where the case that led to the Supreme Court decision came from, attorneys representing the state’s only abortion clinic asked the state’s highest court to stop a new law that bans most abortions from going into effect. The request was made on the day the law was supposed to start being enforced, and two days after a Mississippi judge already rejected the same request.

Leave a Reply