Abortions can start again in Louisiana, days after the state rushed to enforce a ban on abortions in the wake of the Friday Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.
On Monday, a state court granted a request for emergency relief filed by an abortion clinic in the state, the clinic’s administrator, and Medical Students for Choice. The request argued that because Louisiana has passed three separate “trigger laws” meant to ban abortion as soon as Roe is overturned, they must be “be struck down as vague because they fail to provide constitutionally guaranteed notice of exactly what conduct is prohibited, if any, and when.”
Thirteen states, including Louisiana, have some kind of trigger law on the books. But Louisiana, like many other red states, has also in the last several years passed one abortion restriction after another—a move that might have scored conservatives political points but is now causing chaos and confusion as abortion providers and patients try to sort out what, exactly, is legal.
As of Friday, at least eight states were enforcing their abortion bans but providers in other states—such as Arizona—had stopped performing abortions on their own, because the restrictions are unclear and they feared being prosecuted for running afoul of them.
“As state governments are trying to ban abortion throughout the country, including in Louisiana, my heart is with our patients whose entire lives and future may change based on the next few days,” Kathaleen Pittman, administrator of the abortion clinic behind the request, Hope Medical Group for Women. “We are committed to this monumental legal challenge—not to perpetuate an endless political battle but to ensure our patients’ wellbeing, so that they may draw strength from our dedication to this fight.”
Other litigation over trigger bans is already in the works. On Saturday, Planned Parenthood Association of Utah sued over Utah’s trigger ban, which blocks almost all abortions.
The blocking of Louisiana’s trigger bans, though, is only temporary. A hearing on the matter has been set for July 8.