Abortion ban in Louisiana once again blocked by judge

Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 4:58 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 12, 2022 at 10:36 PM CDT

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A Louisiana state district judge has once again blocked the enforcement of a Louisiana law banning most abortions in the state.

District Judge Donald Johnson in the 19th Judicial District issued a temporary restraining order to stop the trigger laws from taking effect.

What the Baton Rouge judge is trying to decide right now, is whether or not Louisiana abortion clinics can continue to provide services or not, ultimately until a lawsuit challenging the law can go to trial.

“The temporary restraining order is just that, it’s temporary. They will have a hearing coming up Monday, that will be a preliminary injunction hearing,” said Stephanie Possa, an attorney with Tyler & Possa.

A hearing is set to take place Monday, July 18 at the 19th Judicial District Courthouse in East Baton Rouge Parish on the matter. The hearing is so the judge can decide whether or not to grant a preliminary injunction ahead of any potential trial that would settle the lawsuit challenging the law one way or the other.

This means until Monday’s hearing, the state’s hands are tied. It also means that abortions can resume for now. But that could change yet again, depending on the outcome of this next hearing.

“Is he (judge) going to keep it on pause or not? And right now, we’re just on pause. It’s not a final determination. it’s not a final decision,” said Possa, a local attorney.

“It’s the same legal fight that started with a lawsuit originally filed in New Orleans claiming the law is not clear but now the case is the hands of a Baton Rouge judge.

“There is an article in the code of procedure that it should be here in Baton Rouge, and this is the appropriate place for it to be,” said Possa.

Ultimately somewhere down the road, if the lawsuit makes it to trial, it could ultimately decide whether or not our abortion laws as written are constitutional.

“I think whenever it ultimately gets tried, that there is going to be a lot of medical testimony that’s going to be very, very important, to determine whether it is actually vague when it gets down to patients and doctors, and what happens when doctors are attempting to treat their patients,” said Possa.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry released his statement with a series of tweets:

Several groups have issued the below statements in reaction to the latest order from a judge:

To give a brief recap, back on June 24, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in a 5-4 decision.

Days later on June 28, Louisiana state District Judge Robin Giarrusso issued a temporary restraining order banning enforcement of the state legislation in response to a lawsuit filed by a north Louisiana abortion clinic and others.

State District Judge Ethel Julien lifted that order following a hearing on the lawsuit on Friday, July 8, in New Orleans. The judge said the lawsuit should have been filed in the state capital, Baton Rouge, instead of New Orleans.

On July 12 a Baton Rouge district judge issued the temporary restraining order again.

The next hearing is set for Monday, July 18 at 8:30 a.m. That’s when a judge will decide whether or not to allow abortions to continue, or allow the trigger law to go into effect, while the lawsuit works its way through court.

“So we could not have a decision on abortion in Louisiana, for months or years to come,” questioned WAFB’s Lester Duhe’.

“Yes,” said Possa.

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