Louisiana and Texas trigger laws temporarily blocked by district judges


UPDATE, 6/28/2022: A Harris County District Court judge blocked an abortion ban in Texas, allowing abortions to — for now — be committed again. Judge Christine Weems ruled in favor of the abortion industry, who have been suing to stop trigger laws from taking effect.

“It is a relief that this Texas state court acted so quickly to block this deeply harmful abortion ban,” Marc Hearron, senior counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a press release. “This decision will allow abortion services to resume at many clinics across the state, connecting Texans to the essential health care they need. Every hour that abortion is accessible in Texas is a victory.”

Amy Hagstrom Miller, president and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health, said they are reopening their facilities and beginning to schedule abortions again.

Attorney General Ken Paxton said he is immediately appealing the ruling, calling the decision wrong in the wake of the Dobbs decision.

A hearing on the issue is scheduled for July 12.

6/27/2022:On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, causing “trigger laws” in 13 states across the country to go into effect. Though the laws take effect at varying times, the trigger law in Louisiana took effect immediately.

However, a judge has suddenly put the law on hold.

Orleans Parish Civil District Court Judge Robin Giarrusso issued a restraining order temporarily blocking Louisiana’s trigger law from going into effect, meaning abortions can still be committed in the state. Hope Medical Group for Women, one of three Louisiana abortion facilities, sued, along with the Center for Reproductive Rights. A hearing on July 8 will further revisit the issue.

READ: Every current female senator in Louisiana is pro-life: ‘We’re supporting women and babies’

The lawsuit argued that the state’s law was too “vague,” and abortion facilities could not tell if or when it was going into effect, or what the enforceability would be. “A public health emergency is about to engulf the nation. As expected, Louisiana and many other states wasted no time enacting bans and eliminating abortion entirely,” Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement. “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. Every day that a clinic is open and providing abortion services can make a difference in a person’s life.”

After Roe was overturned, Attorney General Jeff Landry vowed to defend the law in court if it was necessary.

“As noted in both my legal brief to the Supreme Court and the majority’s opinion: the Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision,” he said in a statement. “Because of the Court’s ruling in this case about a Mississippi law limiting abortions after 15 weeks of gestation with exceptions for health emergencies and fetal abnormalities, Louisiana’s trigger law banning abortion is now in effect. 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.”

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