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Tipsheet

Louisiana Judge Temporarily Blocks Trigger Law Banning Most Abortions in State

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

On Monday, Orleans Parish Civil District Court Judge Robin Giarrusso issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Louisiana's trigger law banning most abortions except when the woman's life is in danger or she is at risk of permanent injury. This comes almost immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court last Friday overturned Roe v. Wade with its Dobbs v. Jackson decision, letting states decide its own abortion laws. 

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As Reuters reported:

The [Hope Medical Group for Women in Shreveport] had argued Louisiana's three trigger law bans violated its due process rights under the state's constitution and "lack constitutionally required safeguards to prevent arbitrary enforcement."

...

In Louisiana, Hope Medical argued the state's laws make it impossible to tell when they are in effect, if one or all of them collectively are in force, and what exact conduct is prohibited, such as if exceptions exist to save a pregnant woman's life.

That vagueness has resulted in state and local officials issuing conflicting statements about whether the trigger bans are in effect, the lawsuit in Orleans Civil District Court contended.

In 2020, by 62.06 percent to 37.94 percent, Louisiana passed Amendment One, which made clear that abortion is not a constitutional right. It added language to the state constitution that "nothing in this constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion."

Judge Giarusso has a July 8 hearing to decide if she will further enjoin enforcement of the ban.

Louisiana's Attorney General Jeff Landry does not appear to have addressed the TRO, but tweeted on Friday after the Court handed down its decision that those fighting for abortion in the state are "in for a rough fight."

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In reporting about Judge Giarusso's TRO, the mainstream media had a particular angle on Louisiana's trigger laws. 

Reuters referred to Louisiana as a "Republican-led" state and coverage from The Hill used similar language in that it was "GOP-led." While the State House and State Senate are controlled by Republicans, the state has a pro-life Democratic governor, John Bel Edwards. 

Neither outlet mentions Gov. Edwards, or that he signed a pro-life law last week strengthening the ban, which was sponsored by a fellow pro-life Democrat, State Sen. Katrina Jackson. 

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