Updated Jun 27, 2022 - Health

Court temporarily blocks Louisiana's abortion trigger law after providers sue

Picture of abortion rights protesters
Photo: Nathan Howard/Getty Images

A district court on Monday blocked Louisiana's "trigger" laws that would have made nearly all abortions illegal in the state, shortly after providers had filed a lawsuit calling the bans unconstitutional.

Driving the news: The Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing the providers in the case, argues that the state's "trigger" bans are "vague" because they do not have a "clear and unambiguous effective date" and "lack adequate standing for enforceability."

  • The plaintiffs in the case also say that the "trigger" bans go against Louisiana's Constitution.

What's next: Abortions in Louisiana can continue for now. A hearing for the providers' case has been set for July 8.

The big picture: Louisiana is one of the 13 states with "trigger" laws, which work to ban abortion as soon as the Supreme Court overturns its precedents protecting access to the procedure, which it did last week.

  • In overturning Roe, the Supreme Court granted states the legal authority to ban the procedure at any point in pregnancy — including at fertilization.
  • In Louisiana, abortions were illegal under its "trigger" laws unless the pregnant person is at risk of death or permanent injury but do not make exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

What they're saying: "A public health emergency is about to engulf the nation. As expected, Louisiana and many other states wasted no time enacting bans and eliminating abortion entirely," said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing the providers in the case.

  • "People who need an abortion right now are in a state of panic. We will be fighting to restore access in Louisiana and other states for as long as we can. Every day that a clinic is open and providing abortion services can make a difference in a person’s life."

Go deeper: Where abortion will be illegal with Roe v. Wade overturned

Editor's note: This story has been updated with a judge's decision to block the trigger laws.

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