AP

Louisiana abortion ban still blocked; judge wants more info

Jul 18, 2022, 12:39 PM | Updated: Jul 26, 2022, 3:12 pm

SOUTH BEND, INDIANA - JUNE 19: An ultrasound machine sits next to an exam table in an examination r...

SOUTH BEND, INDIANA - JUNE 19: An ultrasound machine sits next to an exam table in an examination room at Whole Woman's Health of South Bend on June 19, 2019 in South Bend, Indiana. The clinic, which provides reproductive healthcare for women including providing abortions is scheduled to open next week following a nearly two-year court battle. Part of the Texas-based nonprofit Whole Woman's Health Alliance, the clinic will offer medication-induced abortions for women who are up to 10 weeks pregnant. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Court battles prompted by the Supreme Court’s June 24 ruling reversing abortion rights played out in multiple states Monday, with a judge in West Virginia blocking that state’s 150-year-old abortion ban and one in Louisiana frustrating state authorities by leaving an order against enforcement of that state’s ban in place, for now.

In another Monday development, the Supreme Court issued an order that put Indiana a step closer to being able to enforce a parental notification law involving girls who get abortions before they turn 18.

In Louisiana, where an abortion clinic and others are challenging the state ban, District Judge Donald Johnson left a June 11 restraining order in place. He gave both sides until Tuesday morning to submit their “proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law” in the case and gave no indication when he would finally rule.

Johnson is pondering whether to allow enforcement of the abortion ban that was written in anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning the 1973 decision that established abortion rights. That decision came June 24 and abortion access in Louisiana has been flickering ever since with a series of on-again-off-again court rulings.

Whatever Johnson decides, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said he anticipates that the case will ultimately end up before the Louisiana Supreme Court.

“We believe that ultimately we will prevail and the rule of law will be upheld,” Landry said during a news conference, that was mostly drowned out by the chants of nearby protesters, following Monday’s court hearing. “Those people who don’t like it have two choices — they can try to change the law, but if they find themselves in the minority of ideas then they can pack their bags and go somewhere else.”

In West Virginia, Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Tera L. Salango granted the Women’s Health Center of West Virginia a preliminary injunction against the 1800s-era ban, saying that in the absence of action by the court, the clinic and its patients, “especially those who are impregnated as a result of a rape or incest, are suffering irreparable harm.”

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey decried the ruling, calling it “a dark day for West Virginia.” He said his office will appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court.

In Indiana, a U.S. Supreme Court order that put the state a step closer to being able to enforce a parental notification law involving girls who get abortions before they turn 18.

The law has been blocked for five years, but the Supreme Court ordered lower courts to take a new look at the law following the landmark June 24 decision. The order formally returned the Indiana case to lower courts that had refused to act while awaiting the judgement.

Abortion remains legal in Indiana up to about 20 weeks.

In Louisiana, there is little question that an abortion ban will eventually be in effect in the state where the Legislature has long been dominated by abortion opponents. The question as the lawsuit there progresses is when. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit — a north Louisiana abortion clinic and other supporters of legal abortion — don’t deny that the state can ban abortion as a result of the Supreme Court ruling. But they have managed to buy time for Louisiana’s three abortion clinics, in Shreveport, Baton Rouge and New Orleans, to stay open while they argue that the current law is unconstitutionally vague.

The plaintiffs say the law has multiple, conflicting trigger mechanisms. They also argue that state law is unclear on whether it bans an abortion prior to a fertilized egg implanting in the uterus.

Joanna Wright, an attorney for the north Louisiana abortion clinic that filed the suit, argues that an “ordinary citizen should be able to look” at the statutes and know what is permitted.

In addition, the law provides an exception for “medically futile” pregnancies in cases of fetuses with fatal abnormalities, the plaintiffs noted it gives no definition of the term and that state health officials have not yet provided a list of conditions that would qualify as medically futile.

With the list of exemptions nonexistent, Wright said doctors are left “paralyzed” and trying to make sense of what situations “count” as an exception for abortion in order to avoid prosecution and criminal punishment.

Landry’s office argues that the state ban is constitutional and should no longer be blocked. Landry, in a filing last week, argued that the law “needs only to delineate what is illegal — not define what is legal.” John Balhoff, an attorney representing Landry, argued that the terms are clear and defined.

The lawsuit originated in New Orleans, where a judge issued a temporary order blocking enforcement of the ban June 27. Nearly two weeks later, a second New Orleans judge sent the case to Baton Rouge, saying state law required that it be heard in the capital. That move, in effect, ended the initial restraining order.

But Johnson issued a second temporary restraining order July 11.

___

Associated Press writers Kevin McGill in New Orleans; Leah Willingham in Charleston, West Virginia; and Mark Sherman in Washington contributed to this report.

KSL 5 TV Live

AP

FILE - This image, contained in the indictment against former President Donald Trump, and partially...

Eric Tucker, Adriana Gomez Licon and Freida Frisaro

Judge in Trump’s classified documents case is expected to set a trial date during a crucial hearing

The federal judge overseeing the classified documents prosecution of Donald Trump is expected to set a trial date.

2 hours ago

NORTH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 10: Ballots are processed by an election worker at the Clark Cou...

Gabe Stern, Associated Press/Report for America

Nevada county election official in charge of controversial 2022 hand-count plan resigns

A Nye County spokesperson says top elections official Mark Kampf is resigning.

12 hours ago

FILE: Vivint Doorbell Camera (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)...

Haleluya Hadero, AP Business Writer

Some doorbell cameras sold on Amazon and other online sites have major security flaws, report says

Consumer Reports says some doorbell cameras sold by Amazon and other online retailers have security flaws that could allow bad actors to view footage from the devices or control them completely.

17 hours ago

Charred vehicles sit at an auto body shop after the property was burned by the Smokehouse Creek Fir...

SEAN MURPHY and JIM VERTUNO Associated Press

A wildfire scorching the Texas Panhandle has grown to the largest in state history

A wildfire spreading across the Texas Panhandle became the largest in state history Thursday.

22 hours ago

FILE - A vehicle charges at a Tesla Supercharger station in Detroit, Nov. 16, 2022. Owners of Ford ...

Associated Press

Ford electric vehicle owners can now charge on Tesla’s network, but they’ll need an adapter first

Owners of Ford electric vehicles can now use much of Tesla’s charging network in the U.S. and Canada, but there’s a hitch.

1 day ago

FILE - Comirnaty, a new Pfizer/BioNTech vaccination booster for COVID-19, is displayed at a pharmac...

Mike Stobbe, The Associated Press

Older US adults should get another COVID-19 shot, health officials recommend

Older U.S. adults should roll up their sleeves for another COVID-19 shot, even if they got a booster in the fall, U.S. health officials said Wednesday.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Louisiana abortion ban still blocked; judge wants more info