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Abortions outlawed in Louisiana after judge ends restraining order

Abortions outlawed in Louisiana after judge ends restraining order
The state’s ‘trigger’ laws will likely force clinics to close until the legal challenge resumes in Baton Rouge

A judge in La Nouvelle Orléans, Louisiane, did not extend a temporary restraining order that blocked enforcement of the state’s so-called “trigger” ban outlawing Avortement in the state, which now joins Texas, Mississippi and Alabama in a stretch of the Deep South where abortion is illegal.

Au 8 juillet, Civil District Judge Ethel Simms Julien dissolved the order as part of a procedural matter that will send the case to Baton Rouge. The judge determined that the legal challenge against the state’s laws must change venues, effectively dissolving the restraining order issued in New Orleans.

The decision is likely to freeze operations at the state’s three remaining abortion clinics, at least for now. Plaintiffs in the case, represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights, will ask the Baton Rouge court to block the law.

“Today’s ruling was on a technicality, and did not touch the merits of this case,” said Jenny Ma, senior staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights.

“I am personally devastated for patients in Louisiana who are now panicking trying to figure out how to get care. But to be clear, this case is by no means over," elle a dit. “We’re just starting the legal battle to get the ban blocked again.”

Following the US Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the constitutional right to an abortion, at least nine states – Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Dakota du Sud, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin – have outlawed abortion entirely in nearly all instances.

As many as 26 states could outlaw abortion without protections affirmed in the Roe contre Wade decision, with state legislatures poised to draft more-restrictive laws without constitutional obligations under Roe.

“With every state that bans abortion, the distance patients in the south have to travel grows exponentially,” Ms Ma said. “So losing access in Louisiana, even for a day, is contributing to a growing health crisis not only for people in Louisiana but across the south.”

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Suivant le Supreme Court’s decision on 24 juin, Orleans Parish Civil District Court Judge Robin Giarrusso issued a temporary restraining order against Louiaian from enforcing its abortion ban.

Plus tôt cette semaine, the Louisiana Supreme Court sided with the lower-court ruling by a 4-2 vote, as a majority of the state justices agreed the case was still in a “preliminary stage” as Louisiana’s Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry demands that the state’s anti-abortion laws by immediately enforced.

After Friday’s hearing, Mr Landry told reporters that “if you don’t like Louisiana’s laws or Louisiana’s constitution, you can go to another state.”

Shreveport’s Hope Medical Group, among three clinics in the state, eu 40 abortion appointments scheduled for 9 juillet. Those appointments are canceled.

Plus tôt cette année, Louisiana’s anti-abortion Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards also signed a bill that effectively outlaws all abortions beyond the moment of “fertilization and implantation.” It makes no exception for rape or incest.

The measure imposes a prison sentence of up to 10 years for abortion providers or anyone found guilty of performing an aobrtion, along with no less than $10,000 en amendes. An abortion performed later in the pregnancy could result in a 15-year prison sentence as well as a minimum $20,000 amende, if found guilty.

The state’s anti-abortion laws have met significant resistance among city officials in New Orleans. Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams Raconté L'indépendant le mois dernier that his office is “focused on pursuing accountability and justice for the most serious, violent crimes committed against our people”.

“We cannot and will not shift the priority from tackling senseless shootings and rapes to investigating the choices women make with regard to their own bodies," il a dit.

Orleans Parish Sheriff Susan Hutson said in a statement this week that she will “not use the limited resources of our offices to criminalize a women’s right to choose or a physician’s duty of care.”

A resolution from the New Orleans City Council also urges police and prosecutors against enforcing the state’s criminal anti-abortion laws, and asks to prohibit the use of city funding or other municipal resources to assist other agencies to enforce them.

Prior to its myriad anti-abortion laws going into effect, Louisiana already had some of the most restrictive laws governing abortion care in the US. Without access to legal care in the state, abortion patients will have to travel farther than patients in any other state for legal care, as far as Illinois, New Mexico or North Carolina.