Court Battles

Judge allows abortions to resume in Louisiana

Protesters wave signs and demonstrate in support of abortion access in front of a New Orleans courthouse Friday July 8, 2022. Inside the courthouse a judge was hearing arguments on the state’s trigger law designed to outlaw almost all abortions. (AP Photo/Rebecca Santana)

A federal judge has ruled that abortion services can resume in the state of Louisiana, blocking the state from enforcing its so-called trigger ban. 

Judge Donald Johnson granted a temporary restraining order to the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) and set a hearing on the case for July 18.

CRR, along with ​​Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, last month challenged the state abortion ban that was designed to go into effect immediately after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that had guaranteed the right to an abortion nationwide.

Both organizations requested for emergency relief to allow medical providers in the state to continue providing abortions and let patients continue to access the procedure. A judge initially temporarily blocked enforcement of the ban, but that order was lifted when the case was moved to a different court.

Tuesday’s ruling puts a temporary restraining order back in place.

Louisiana is one of the several states that enacted trigger laws that either banned or severely restricted abortion care in their states following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization last month, which struck down the constitutional right to an abortion. 

Some of those laws are also being challenged in court.

In a statement Wednesday, CRR senior staff attorney Jenny Ma said it is an “incredible relief” that people can access abortion care in the state. 

“This is an incredible relief for people who need abortion care right now in Louisiana. Abortion care in the state can resume today, and further irreparable harm has been avoided. Our work continues and we now look ahead to our hearing on Monday, where we will ask the judge to block the bans more permanently,” Ma said in a statement. “Every hour and every day that a clinic can still provide abortion care fundamentally changes the lives of people for the better.”

President Biden signed an executive order last week intended to protect abortion and contraception access, but acknowledged that it is up to Congress to pass legislation that tackles the issue in the most meaningful ways. 

House Democrats are also planning to vote on pair of bills that address the issue of protecting abortion rights, including an updated version of the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill that would codify abortion rights into law and expand Roe’s protections.

Tags Abortion abortion access Abortion in the United States abortion rights abortion rights Baton Rouge Biden Federal judge Louisiana Roe v. Wade Supreme Court of the United States the Centers for Reproductive Rights trigger bans Trigger laws

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