Judge blocks La. law restricting abortions

A federal judge has temporarily blocked enforcement of Louisiana’s restrictive new abortion law.

The bill, signed into law in June by Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), would require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinics.

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District Judge John deGravelles said Sunday the law could still take effect Monday, but state officials cannot reprimand physicians or clinics for breaking it while a challenge is heard.

"Plaintiffs will be allowed to operate lawfully while continuing their efforts to obtain privileges," he wrote in the decision.

A lawsuit by the Center for Reproductive Rights claimed doctors need more time to obtain hospital privileges and that the law would likely shutter Louisiana’s five abortion clinics.

"Today’s ruling ensures Louisiana women are safe from an underhanded law that seeks to strip them of their health and rights," Nancy Northup, president and chief executive of the center, said in a statement.

The judge will make a permanent ruling on the law at a hearing slated to take place some time in the next month, Reuters reports.

Similar laws in Alabama and Mississippi were struck down this summer.