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An employee at Hope Medical Group logs codes

An employee adds codes to a schedule board at Hope Medical Group for Women in Shreveport, Louisiana on April 19, 2022. (Photo: Francois Picard/AFP via Getty Images)

Louisiana Judge Blocks State's Post-Roe Abortion Ban

"Abortion care will resume in the state and a hearing has been set for July 8th," said the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Jake Johnson

Update:

A Louisiana judge on Monday temporarily blocked enforcement of the state's trigger ban on abortion after rights groups took legal action, calling the law "unconstitutionally vague."

The Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) told The Hill in an email that "abortion care will resume in the state and a hearing has been set for July 8th."

In a statement announcing its emergency lawsuit earlier Monday, CRR said that on the day the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, Louisiana officials "issued conflicting statements about whether and which trigger laws were actually in effect and thus what conduct—if any—was prohibited."

"Due process requires more," the group said. "There is tremendous urgency around this petition and emergency motion as the Dobbs decision has precipitated a tidal wave of canceled appointments and the withdrawal of critical services in states with trigger laws throughout the nation, perhaps none more so than in Louisiana where the trigger laws are immediately effective."

Louisiana has passed a number of trigger laws over the past decade and a half.

Earlier:

Reproductive rights groups in Louisiana filed suit Monday in an effort to block trigger-ban laws that took effect in the state after the U.S. Supreme Court's right-wing majority struck down Roe v. Wade last week, ending constitutional protections for abortion care.

Filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) on behalf of Hope Medical Group for Women, Hope's administrator Kathaleen Pittman, and Medical Students for Choice, the lawsuit seeks a temporary restraining order barring enforcement of the trigger laws, which banned abortion in Louisiana immediately after the high court handed down its ruling on Friday.

"A public health emergency is about to engulf the nation."

All three of Louisiana's remaining abortion clinics, including Hope Medical Group, were forced to stop performing the procedure following the Supreme Court's unpopular decision. Abortion is now illegal in Louisiana except when it is deemed necessary to save the life of the pregnant person.

"A public health emergency is about to engulf the nation," said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights. "As expected, Louisiana and many other states wasted no time enacting bans and eliminating abortion entirely. People who need an abortion right now are in a state of panic."

"We will be fighting to restore access in Louisiana and other states for as long as we can," Northup added. "Every day that a clinic is open and providing abortion services can make a difference in a person's life."

Louisiana is one of 13 states that had trigger bans in place in preparation for the end of Roe. "Louisiana women would have to travel as far as New Mexico or Illinois to have an abortion" under the newly enacted laws, noted the local Daily Advertiser.

The CRR lawsuit contends that Louisiana's trigger laws must be struck down because they are "unconstitutionally vague."

"Seeking reproductive care is already difficult in the U.S., and especially in Louisiana," Pittman of Hope Medical Group said in a statement Monday. "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."

"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," said Pittman.

Louisiana is just one of several trigger-ban states hit with lawsuits from reproductive rights groups in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to end Roe, which sparked nationwide outrage and mass protests.

In Utah, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU sued the state government over its abortion ban. If left in place, the lawsuit warns, the ban "will be catastrophic for Utahns."

The Kentucky branch of the ACLU has also signaled its intent to take legal action against the state government for outlawing abortion.


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