Louisiana and Utah trigger laws banning abortions temporarily blocked by courts

Judges in Louisiana and Utah on Monday temporarily blocked their states’ abortion bans following last week’s US Supreme Court ruling that ends a nationwide procedural right .

The High Court on Friday overturned Roe v. Wade, who for nearly 50 years granted women the constitutional right to abortion. More than a dozen states have established so-called trigger laws to take effect immediately, banning or severely limiting abortions, in case Roe v. Wade would be canceled.

Trigger laws were also contested in Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi and Texas.

A Louisiana judge on Monday issued a temporary restraining order for the state to enforce its abortion ban, prompting the immediate resumption of proceedings.

Orleans Parish Civil District Court Judge Robin Giarrusso granted the request of plaintiffs Hope Medical Group For Women and Medical Students for Choice.

Hours later, Utah Third District Judge Andrew Stone halted that state’s trigger law with immediate effect, under a 14-day temporary restraining order requested by the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah.

“There is irreparable harm that has been demonstrated,” Stone said in granting the order. “Affected women are deprived of safe local medical treatments to terminate a pregnancy.”

Planned Parenthood attorney Julie Murray argued that because patients had access to abortion for five decades, stopping the procedure on such short notice had a resounding impact on Utah women. .

The nonprofit’s facilities in Utah had more than 55 patients scheduled for abortion appointments this week, the organization said in its emergency request Saturday for a temporary restraining order. .

Utah Solicitor General Tyler Green argued that there was nothing in the state constitution that specifically protects the right to abortion, and that the best interests of the unborn child outweighs the harm caused to potential patients under the ban.

“In our opinion, it’s at least a draw,” he told the court.

Murray said Planned Parenthood attorneys are working on a preliminary injunction petition that, if successful, would keep abortion legally available in the state after the temporary restraining order expires.

Providers in Louisiana had stopped performing abortions on Friday, unsure of the legality of the practice due to the bill’s vagueness, according to reproductive rights groups.

“The Louisiana court made the right decision today to quickly block this unfair ban from taking effect,” said Jenny Ma, senior counsel for the Center for Reproductive Rights, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the United States. complainants.

“This is incredibly welcome news at a very dark time in our history. It means Louisiana patients will still be able to access the essential health care they need – every second an abortion is available matters. Although the fight is far from over, we will do everything in our power to preserve access to abortion in Louisiana and across the country.

Attorney General Jeff Landry said Monday his office will go to court to support the state abortion ban that was “enacted by the people” of Louisiana.

“We are fully prepared to defend these laws in our state courts, just as we have done in our federal courts,” Landry said in a statement.

In a statement Friday, Governor John Bel Edwards said he is “unapologetically pro-life and anti-abortion” but is seeking to change Louisiana’s trigger law – first put in place in 2006 – because it provides no exceptions for rape and incest.

“As I’ve said many times before, I believe women who have survived rape or incest should be able to determine whether to pursue a pregnancy resulting from a criminal act,” Edwards said Friday.

Denis Romero contributed.

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