Judge Blocks Louisiana’s Abortion Ban From Going Into Effect

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Mary Rooke Commentary and Analysis Writer
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Orleans Parish Civil District Judge Robin Giarrusso granted a temporary restraining order Monday that blocks Louisiana’s abortion ban from going into effect after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Friday decision that sent abortion lawmaking back to state legislatures.

Hope Medical Group for Women, an abortion clinic in Shreveport, Louisiana, filed a petition after the SCOTUS decision activated the state’s “trigger law,” making abortion illegal in the state, reported KPLC.

The Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) worked with Boies Schiller Flexner LLP and Ellie Schilling to represent the abortion clinic, according to the outlet.

Giarrusso granted a temporary restraining order of the enforcement of the abortion ban allowing Lousiana clinics to continue performing abortions without fear of violating the state law banning abortion, KPLC reported. (RELATED: America’s First Feminists Opposed Abortion, Then The Movement Was Hijacked)

CRR’s statement said its clients, including Hope Medical Group for Women administrator Kathaleen Pittman and Medical Students for Choice, felt the state’s trigger laws were “unconstitutionally vague,” making it “impossible” to tell which abortion laws were going into effect and what is considered an elective abortion versus procedures that would save the mother’s life.

“Seeking reproductive care is already difficult in the U.S., and especially in Louisiana. Now, as state governments are trying to ban abortion throughout the country, including in Louisiana, my heart is with our patients whose entire lives and future may change based on the next few days,” said Pittman in the statement. “We are committed to this monumental legal challenge – not to perpetuate an endless political battle, but to ensure our patients’ wellbeing and so that they may draw strength from our dedication to this fight.”

Pamela Merritt, Executive Director at Medical Students for Choice, said in the statement that her organization’s members were “outraged and “heartbroken” by SCOTUS’ decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned Roe v. Wade.

“While [Medical Students for Choice] have been actively preparing for this moment, it’s never easy to see the government take human rights away from millions of people, including those in Louisiana,” said Merritt. “We have joined this important lawsuit because we are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure that medical students in the United States continue receiving education and training in abortion and family planning.”

Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed Senate Bill 342 into law on June 21 that would immediately ban all abortions in the state with no exclusion for rape or incest, reported the Lafayette Daily Advertiser.

“My position on abortion has been unwavering,” Edwards said, reported the outlet. “I am pro-life and have never hidden from that fact. This does not belie my belief that there should be an exception to the prohibition on abortion for victims of rape and incest.”

Edwards said vetoing the bill would not provide assistance to women who qualify under a raper of incest provision and “would further confuse whether pregnancy begins at fertilization or implantation.”

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said in a Twitter statement that his office is prepared to fight to protect the state’s pro-life laws.

“My office and I will do everything in our power to ensure the laws of Louisiana that have been passed to protect the unborn are enforceable, even if we have to go back to court,” tweeted Landry.