Louisiana abortion ban reinstated, clinics halted procedures

Baton Rouge (AP) — Staff at Louisiana abortion clinics on Monday called on patients to cancel procedures and direct them to resources in other states as Louisiana’s total abortion ban takes effect once again.

For weeks, access to abortion in Louisiana has been flimsy — three of the state’s clinics relied on regulations and temporary restraining orders to allow them to continue operating. But an appeals court ruled that Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry could enforce the ban while the proceedings were halted Friday afternoon after facing ongoing legal challenges in court.

“Once again, politics outweighs medical expertise and common sense,” Amy Irwin, spokeswoman for abortion clinics in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, said Monday. “We hope that the court will ultimately act with compassion and empathy on behalf of women seeking abortions in Louisiana.”

Staff at clinics in southern Louisiana were working this week to notify 120 patients scheduled for appointments that restrictions were being reimposed once again. Not only are patients being directed to out-of-state clinics, but Irwin said clinics are also looking to relocate to a state that “respects and values ​​women’s physical autonomy.”

Additionally, employees of Hope Medical Group for Women in Shreveport – which is at the center of the legal challenge – are still providing support.

“We’re not getting abortions, but we’re not shutting down,” Kathleen Pittman, director of the Northern Louisiana Clinic, said Monday. “We are managing the phone and trying to help people get care, as we consider our options, as best we can within the confines of the law.”

Following the US Supreme Court’s decision last month to end constitutional protections for abortion, Louisiana’s ban has gone into effect and been blocked several times. Since then, the Louisiana Department of Health has received 249 abortions, according to data released last week.

On July 21, State Judge Donald Johnson issued a preliminary injunction that allowed clinics to continue with abortions while the trial over the ban continued. However, only eight days later, Landry fought in a state appeals court to enforce the ban – which ruled in his favor.

The ban went into effect later that day, the third time the ban went into effect. There are no exceptions to this such as rape or incest.

Joanna Wright, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said it was “disappointing” that the First Circuit ruled without first giving the plaintiffs an opportunity to file an opposition to the motion. She said the court had “essentially terminated critical health care services in the state.”

While the plaintiffs do not deny that the state can now ban abortion, they argue that the provisions of the law are contradictory and unconstitutionally vague.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: