June 28, 2022 – Judges in Louisiana and Utah have temporarily blocked trigger laws that would ban abortions after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

More than a dozen states created these laws to take effect after the Supreme Court ruling. Abortion rights advocates have also challenged the trigger laws in Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Texas, according to NBC News.

On Monday, a state judge in Louisiana issued a temporary restraining order to stop the state from enforcing its ban. Abortions are scheduled to resume on Tuesday, according to WWNO.

The state’s trigger law, which has been in place since 2006, outlaws abortion now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned. During the 2022 legislative session, lawmakers also passed a law that would penalize doctors who perform abortions with up to 15 years in prison and $200,000 in fines, which Gov. John Bel Edwards signed into law last week.

Orleans Parish Civil District Judge Robin Giarrusso sided with Hope Medical Group for Women, an abortion provider in Shreveport, LA, as well as Medical Students for Choice. The petition requested emergency relief so they can continue providing abortion care to Louisianians, arguing that “state and local officials issued conflicting statements about whether and which trigger laws were actually in effect” on Friday and what was prohibited by law, according to KTAL.

A hearing is scheduled for July 8. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said the state would defend the trigger laws in court.

“We would remind everyone that the laws that are now in place were enacted by the people through State Constitutional Amendments and the Louisiana Legislature, which the citizens elect representatives,” he said in a statement.

Later Monday, Utah Third District Judge Andrew Stone halted the state’s trigger law, granting a 14-day restraining order requested by the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah. A hearing is scheduled for July 11, according to KSL.

Planned Parenthood lawyer Julie Murray argued that halting abortion access with such short notice would impact pregnant women, NBC News reported. The organization’s facilities in Utah had more than 55 patients scheduled for abortion appointments this week.

“There is irreparable harm that has been shown,” Stone said in the ruling. “Affected women are deprived of safe, local medical treatments to terminate pregnancies.”

Utah Solicitor General Tyler Green said that the state constitution doesn’t protect a right to abortion and that the rights of the unborn child weigh as heavily as the harm to mothers.

“In our view, it’s at least a draw,” he said.

On Monday, attorneys general in 21 states and the District of Columbia issued a joint statement to reassure out-of-state patients that they would protect their access to abortion, according to The New York Times. The represented states included Minnesota, New Mexico, and North Carolina, which could see more patients from nearby states with abortion bans.

State abortion bans looked poised to move forward in Mississippi and South Carolina, the newspaper reported, where the state attorneys general recognized the Supreme Court’s ruling and pushed for their laws to take effect. A Florida judge is scheduled to rule on Friday whether the state’s new 15-week abortion ban will begin.

In California, state lawmakers put a state constitutional amendment on the ballot on Monday, which would explicitly protect reproductive rights, according to the Times. The amendment would go to California voters in November.

Show Sources

NBC News: “Louisiana and Utah trigger laws banning abortions temporarily blocked by courts.”

WWNO: “Abortions to resume at Louisiana clinic after state judge temporarily blocks trigger bans.”

KTAL: “State court orders hold on Louisiana abortion trigger laws.”

KSL: “Judge issues restraining order, banning Utah abortion law from taking effect.”

The New York Times: “Judges Block Utah and Louisiana Abortion Laws Amid Flurry of Legal Action.”

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