(LifeSiteNews) – Judges in Louisiana and Utah have temporarily halted the implementation of trigger laws would ban abortion after the Supreme Court’s Friday ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health that overturned Roe v. Wade, after complaints from pro-abortion groups filed this weekend.
In Louisiana, Democrat judge Robin Giarrusso blocked the state’s trigger law after the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) and Boies Schiller Flexner LLP filed a request for emergency relief on behalf of Hope Medical Group and Medical Students for Choice. Giarrusso issued the order Monday. One of three Louisiana abortion clinics confirmed that it will reopen Tuesday as a result of the stay. A hearing has been scheduled for July 8, at which Giarrusso will decide if she will extend the stay.
In a statement released Monday by Hope Medical Group and Medical Students for Choice, the groups said, “In a stunning state of affairs, the day Dobbs was issued, state and local officials issued conflicting statements about whether and which trigger laws were actually in effect and thus what conduct—if any—was prohibited. Due process requires more.”
“There is tremendous urgency around this petition and emergency motion as the Dobbs decision has precipitated a tidal wave of canceled appointments and the withdrawal of critical services in states with trigger laws throughout the nation, perhaps none more so than in Louisiana where the trigger laws are immediately effective,” they added.
Under Louisiana law, the three remaining abortion mills in the state would be closed, and abortions after “fertilization and implantation” would be banned. The law only allows exceptions for ectopic pregnancies, pregnancies in which the infant could not survive postpartum, and in cases when the mother’s life is allegedly threatened due to a physical condition.
The law further states that for a woman to get an abortion, she would need to get a diagnosis from two separate doctors, and it imposes a prison sentence of up to 15 years and $200,000 in fines for abortion providers. Louisianans previously voted for an amendment to the state constitution that said that there was no constitutional right to abortion.
Opponents of the law argue that Louisiana has conflicting trigger law mechanisms, and that the law is unclear as to whether it bans abortions prior to implantation in the uterus. Opponents also object that “medically futile” pregnancies in which the baby cannot survive postpartum are not defined.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, a pro-life Republican, has vowed to fight Giarrusso’s stay, tweeting “We would remind everyone that the laws that are now in place were enacted by the people through State Constitutional Amendments and the LA Legislature.”
Similarly, a judge in Utah issued a restraining order on the state’s trigger law after Planned Parenthood Association of Utah and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit Saturday. The restraining order, issued by 3rd District Court of Utah Judge Andrew Stone, imposes a two-week stay of a 2020 law that classifies any elective abortion as a second-class felony and allows exceptions for abortions in cases of rape and incest or when the life of the mother is allegedly threatened.
Stone, speaking to FOX13, said “The immediate effect that will occur outweigh any policy issues of the state.”
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes released a statement reacting to the lawsuit, saying that the Supreme Court “has returned the question of abortion to the states. And the Utah legislature has answered that question.”
“My office will do its duty to defend the state law against any and all potential legal challenges,” he added.
The legal actions against abortion bans come as some state laws come into effect while others face challenges.
Following the Supreme Court’s decision, a federal court in South Carolina allowed the state’s heartbeat law to take effect Monday, when U.S. Circuit Court Judge Mary Geiger Lewis issued a stay on her injunction order that had originally blocked the law. The law imposes a ban on abortion after six weeks and requires doctors to check for heartbeats with an ultrasound. Heartbeats are normally detected in babies six weeks after conception.
Abortion is currently banned in at least nine states, with more states set to enforce trigger laws in the coming weeks.