Courts Block Louisiana, Utah Trigger Laws

Louisiana's 3 abortion clinics plan to resume services
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2022 3:32 PM CDT
Updated Jun 28, 2022 1:24 AM CDT
Judge Blocks Louisiana's Trigger Laws
Abortion-rights supporters get ready to march in opposition of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, in New Orleans, Friday, June 24, 2022.   (Sophia Germer/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP)

Update: A second so-called "trigger law" banning abortion was temporarily blocked by a judge Monday, this one in Utah. The 14-day ban will allow the court to hear challenges to the law, the AP reports. Meanwhile, a South Carolina "heartbeat" abortion law was allowed to go into effect. It does include exceptions for rape, incest, or if the life of the mother is in danger. Our earlier story from Monday follows:

Louisiana "trigger laws" designed to bring in a near-total ban on abortions as soon as the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade have been blocked by a district judge, meaning abortions at the state's three clinics can resume. Orleans Parish Civil District Judge Robin Giarusso ruled in favor of abortion rights supporters who filed a lawsuit Monday arguing that the laws were "unconstitutionally vague," reports. Advocates said it was unclear whether the laws had taken immediate effect after Friday's ruling. They said the laws also failed to provide specifics about exceptions, including when medical workers are fighting to save a pregnant woman's life, reports the New York Times.

The state's trigger laws do not allow exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. Attorney Joanna Wright tells the Times that the clinics, all three of which now plan to resume services, had been unable to operate since Friday's ruling out of fear of prosecution. "That puts care providers in this impossible position of having to turn away women who possibly need abortion care to save their life in order to avoid going to jail," she says. The judge set a hearing for July 8, when a permanent injunction will be considered.

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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Friday that he is "unabashedly pro-life and opposed to abortion" but will seek changes to the 2006 trigger law to allow exceptions, NBC reports. "As I have said many times before, I believe women who are survivors of rape or incest should be able determine whether to continue with a pregnancy that is the result of a criminal act," the Democratic governor said. Days before the SCOTUS ruling, Edwards signed another trigger law to increase penalties for abortion providers, reports Reuters. (Missouri banned abortions within hours of the SCOTUS decision.)

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