Judge Slaps Down Louisiana's Abortion Trigger Ban — For Now

Louisiana’s three remaining abortion clinics will be able to continue to provide services under a temporary restraining order blocking the implementation of the state’s pre-existing “trigger” laws. 

Civil District Court Judge Robin Giarrusso on Monday granted a temporary restraining order against the implementation of statewide bans on abortion procedures. Louisiana is one of 13 states where legislatures had enacted laws designed to immediately outlaw or nearly outlaw abortion in preparation for the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.

The 2006 Louisiana law would have outlawed and criminalized both the practice, procurement, sale, and administration of abortion services from the moment of fertilization, save for circumstances in which the life of the pregnant person was at risk

The trigger law isn’t the only indication that the Louisiana legislature is itching the crack down on a woman’s right to choose. Republicans last month introduced a bill aimed at qualifying the abortion as homicide. The bill was later withdrawn, but the state’s GOP has made clear how it feels about the practice, and that it’s willing to take action to eliminate it.

Louisiana has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the United States, and advocates believe that the end of comprehensive reproductive health services in the state will negatively impact maternal health and increase the number of pregnancy-related adverse medical events.

The temporary restraining order provides a temporary respite for medical providers and patients seeking care, and could provide a template for other providers in states facing blanket bans. In Utah, Planned Parenthood has asked a judge to block the state’s trigger law, for which an emergency hearing is being held Monday. 

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