Louisiana may enforce near-total abortion ban after ruling

NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana can now enforce its ban on nearly all abortions under a judge’s order on Friday amid a wave of legal challenges to the state’s ‘trigger’ laws designed to go into effect when the Court United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

The decision came the same day President Joe Biden issued an executive order to protect access to abortion in states where it is still legal and mitigate potential penalties that women seeking the procedure could face afterward. the High Court’s decision of June 24.

Days after the Supreme Court ruling, Louisiana District Judge Robin Giarrusso issued a temporary restraining order barring the application of state law in response to a lawsuit filed by a clinic North Louisiana Abortion Center and others.

State District Judge Ethel Julien said on Friday she does not have the authority to extend the restraining order after concluding that the lawsuit should not have been filed in her court, but in court. of State in the capital, Baton Rouge. She said the suit has room because her claims that the law’s provisions are unconstitutionally vague and inconsistent are matters involving the legislation.

The ruling was a victory for state Attorney General Jeff Landry and state attorneys, who argued the lawsuit was improperly filed in New Orleans.

It was not immediately clear what effect the decision would have on three clinics operating in the state. A lawyer for opponents of the law declined to comment.

“If they continue to operate, they do so at their own risk,” Landry said after the hearing.

About 60 demonstrators gathered outside the courthouse on Friday holding signs reading: “Abortion is health” and “Do you want women to die?” Protesters, who want to keep state abortion clinics open, criticized Landry, who has been a vocal advocate of efforts to ban abortion statewide.

Abortion advocates in many states are challenging each state’s laws limiting the procedure in court. In Mississippi, seat of the case that led to the Supreme Court ruling, lawyers for the state’s only abortion clinic on Thursday filed a motion asking the state’s highest court to block temporarily a new state law that bans most abortions. The attorneys made the request the day the law went into effect and two days after a Mississippi judge denied the same request.

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The story has been edited to clarify that Julien did not lift the order per se, but said she had no authority to extend it after determining the matter was not for her court. .

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Associated Press writer Rebecca Santana contributed to this report.

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