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Dem judge intervenes and blocks Louisiana from outlawing abortions: 'A public health emergency'

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Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Democratic judge intervened on Monday to block a Louisiana law that made abortion illegal promptly after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

What is the background?

Louisiana is one of 13 states that passed so-called "trigger laws" that severely restricted or outright banned abortion when the Supreme Court issued its historic Dobbs ruling overturning abortion precedents.

On June 21, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a "trigger law" that would "become effective immediately upon ... any decision of the Supreme Court of the United States which overrules, in whole or in part, Roe v. Wade."

The law does not provide an exception for rape or incest, but does provide an exception to save the life of a mother.

What happened now?

Orleans Parish Civil District Judge Robin Giarrusso, a Democrat, issued a ruling on Monday that temporarily blocks the trigger law from taking effect.

This means that Louisiana's three abortion clinics — in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Shreveport — that stopped providing abortions on Friday immediately after the Supreme Court's ruling can resume abortion procedures.

However, it remains unclear whether they will resume operations, as the legality of the procedure remains in limbo.

The plaintiffs, which included abortion providers and supporters of abortion, argue the trigger law is "hopelessly vague" and violates the Louisiana state constitution.

The Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing the plaintiffs, celebrated the ruling.

"A public health emergency is about to engulf the nation. As expected, Louisiana and many other states wasted no time enacting bans and eliminating abortion entirely," said president and CEO Nancy Northup. "People who need an abortion right now are in a state of panic. We will be fighting to restore access in Louisiana and other states for as long as we can. Every day that a clinic is open and providing abortion services can make a difference in a person’s life."

Meanwhile, Louisiana Right to Life said state Attorney General Jeff Landry (R), who is listed as a defendant in the case, will defend the state's law.

"It is telling that the Shreveport abortion business filed a lawsuit in Orleans Parish, looking for a district judge who would side with abortion," executive director Benjamin Clapper said. "We are thankful our Attorney General Jeff Landry will vigorously defend our pro-life laws. We look forward to these frivolous lawsuits being dismissed, and Louisiana will continue to work together to protect babies and support moms."

Giarrusso scheduled a hearing for July 8 to consider a permanent injunction against the Louisiana law.

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