Louisiana Court Allows Abortions to Resume

A Democrat state judge in Louisiana issued a ruling this week that allows abortions to resume in the state. The ruling comes even though the state’s “trigger law” banning almost all abortion procedures went into effect with the Supreme Court ruling last month reversing Roe v. Wade.

Louisiana 19th District Court Judge Donald Johnson blocked the law through a temporary restraining order entered on Tuesday. That order will be effective until July 18, when the court will conduct a hearing to determine if an order will be issued to continue the restraining order until the underlying lawsuit is resolved.

This week’s restraining order is the second issued by a Louisiana state court blocking enforcement of the trigger law. Just days after the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe, Orleans Parish Civil District Court Judge Robin Giarrusso issued a similar temporary restraining order to halt the enforcement of the abortion ban.

State District Judge Ethel Julien lifted Judge Giarrusso’s order, finding that the lawsuit challenging the trigger law should have been filed in the state capital of Baton Rouge rather than in New Orleans. The case before Judge Johnson in Baton Rouge was then filed, resulting in this week’s order.

The Center for Reproductive Rights filed the new lawsuit on behalf of a group of abortion providers, arguing that the new law violates the due process rights of abortion clinics. The case also alleges that the trigger law lacks “constitutionally required safeguards to prevent arbitrary enforcement.”

The new lawsuit also claims that the trigger law is too vague to be constitutional and does not properly set an effective date for enforcement.

Center for Reproductive Rights CEO Nancy Northup issued a press statement saying that a “public health emergency is about to engulf the nation.” She cited the Louisiana law as an example of one of several states set to ban abortions entirely.

She acknowledged that the lawsuit is not likely to prohibit the state from regulating abortions in the long term, but said, “Every day that a clinic is open and providing abortion services can make a difference in a person’s life.”

Louisiana Right to Life representative Benjamin Clapper issued a statement regarding this week’s ruling saying it is “disappointing” that a second judge is now acting to block a law supported by citizens and lawmakers that is designed to protect innocent unborn children from abortions.

Clapper added that the delays in enforcing the law means that unborn “babies targeted for abortion are back in the crosshairs of for-profit abortion businesses.” He described the lawsuit as a frivolous waste of court time and taxpayer dollars.

State Attorney General Jeff Landry has said his office will fight the lawsuit and defend the trigger law in all actions.