Restraining order blocking Louisiana abortion ban to stay in place, judge decides

By: - July 19, 2022 1:13 pm
Volunteer escorts gather outside Delta Clinic in Baton Rouge

Volunteer escorts gather June 28, 2022, outside Delta Clinic in Baton Rouge, one of three facilities that perform abortions in Louisiana. (Piper Hutchinson)

A state district judge in Baton Rouge will keep a temporary restraining order in effect while the court considers whether Louisiana’s abortion ban is legal. Judge Donald Johnson issued his ruling Tuesday that prevents Attorney General Jeff Landry and the state health department from enforcing the state’s abortion prohibition.

The judge extended the temporary restraining order for at least 10 days, giving himself time to come to a decision on the matter of a preliminary injunction on the state’s abortion laws. If granted, the state would continue to be blocked from enforcing the three so-called “trigger laws.”

Louisiana was one of 13 states with trigger bans that went into effect after the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the landmark Roe v. Wade decision from 1973 that protected abortion as a constitutional right. A Shreveport abortion services clinic, its director and a medical students’ group have sued the state, saying Louisiana’s abortion laws are vague and contain conflicting language.

Attorneys representing Landry insist that the bans are clear.

Amy Irvin, spokesperson for the Delta Clinic of Baton Rouge and Women’s Health Care Center in New Orleans, two of the state’s three abortion clinics, celebrated the extension in a statement and said that the two clinics would continue to provide abortion care as long as abortion remains legal.

“We applaud the judge’s measured consideration of the issue before the court and are thankful that Louisianans and those traveling from nearby states where abortion is already illegal will have another week to receive essential healthcare,” Irvin said.

This is a developing story. More to come.

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Piper Hutchinson
Piper Hutchinson

Piper Hutchinson is a reporting intern for Louisiana Illuminator. She has reported extensively on the Legislature and state government for the LSU Manship News Service and The Reveille, where she was named editor in chief for summer 2022.

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