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

Top Stories

AP

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC...
ERIC TUCKER, Associated Press

Trump says FBI conducting search of Mar-a-Lago estate

Former President Donald Trump says the FBI is conducting a search of his Mar-a-Lago estate.
22 hours ago
FILE...
MICHAEL GOLDBERG, Associated Press/Report for America

Viral video of Mississippi arrest sparks investigation

An incident involving a white Mississippi Highway Patrol officer and three Black men is under investigation after a viral video showed the officer putting a handcuffed man into a chokehold and wrestling him into a ditch.
22 hours ago
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 14: Historian David McCullough poses for a picture at the History Makers Gala a...
Associated Press

David McCullough, Pulitzer-winning historian, dies at 89

David McCullough, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author whose lovingly crafted narratives on subjects ranging from the Brooklyn Bridge to Presidents John Adams and Harry Truman made him among the most popular and influential historians of his time, has died. He was 89.
22 hours ago
Lexington Fire Department Search and Rescue team perform a targeted search on Highway 476 where thr...
SEUNG MIN KIM, CHRIS MEGERIAN and BRUCE SCHREINER, Associated Press

Biden surveys flood damage in Kentucky, pledges more US help

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden are witnessing firsthand the damage from deadly and devastating storms that have resulted in the worst flooding in Kentucky’s history.
22 hours ago
FILE PHOTO (Deseret News)...
Associated Press

Man arrested in death of Navajo woman; remains found in 2021

Authorities say a Pinon man has been arrested in connection with the death of a Navajo woman who was reported missing in 2019.
22 hours ago
TROY, AL - MAY 03: Javelin anti-tank missiles serve as a backdrop for U.S. President Joe Biden's sp...
Associated Press

US pledges $1 billion more rockets, other arms for Ukraine

The Biden administration said Monday it was shipping its biggest yet direct delivery of weapons to Ukraine as that country prepares for a potentially decisive counteroffensive in the south against Russia, sending $1 billion in rockets, ammunition and other material to Ukraine from Defense Department stockpiles.
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
Louisiana abortion ban still blocked; judge wants more info