Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks Enforcement of Louisiana’s Restrictive New Abortion Law

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 1 2014 11:37 AM

Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks Enforcement of Louisiana’s Restrictive New Abortion Law

108294017-anti-abortion-and-pro-choice-demonstrators-argue-in
Anti-abortion and pro-choice demonstrators argue in front of the Supreme Court in 2011.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A federal judge stepped in and temporarily blocked the enforcement of a restrictive Louisiana state law on abortions on Sunday. The law, signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal in June, will still go into effect on Monday, and requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Abortion rights advocates say the measure, if enforced, will likely cause the closure of all five of Louisiana’s abortion clinics, Reuters reports.

Here’s more on the decision from the Associated Press:

U.S. District Judge John deGravelles wrote that authorities cannot enforce the law until he holds a hearing on whether an order to block it is needed while the case remains in court… But lawyers and advocates appeared to disagree about whether the judge's order affects doctors at all five abortion clinics in the state or only those at three clinics whose lawsuit challenges the measure… The judge said he will call a status conference within 30 days to check on the progress of the plaintiffs' applications and to schedule a hearing to consider a request for an order blocking the law while the case is in court.
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“Louisiana is among 11 states that have passed similar laws, with courts recently ruling unconstitutional such measures in Alabama and Mississippi,” Reuters reports. “Key parts of a Texas law that would have shuttered most remaining clinics in that state were blocked by a federal judge on Friday.”

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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