Louisiana judge denies request that would allow abortion ban

Posted at 12:52 PM, Jul 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-26 13:52:55-04

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Five days after a state judge blocked enforcement of Louisiana’s abortion ban, the same judge on Tuesday denied a motion by state officials to suspend the ruling while they pursue an appeal.

Lawyers for state Attorney General Jeff Landry and health secretary Courtney Phillips filed the request last week in Baton Rouge. They wanted Judge Donald Johnson to suspend his ruling and allow enforcement of a ban that was put into state law in anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 24 ruling reversing abortion rights. Johnson denied the motion.

The filing, by Landry and Phillips, indicates the state plans to take the case to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal in Baton Rouge.

“We trust the First Circuit will apply the law properly and reverse Judge Johnson’s ruling,” Landry tweeted Tuesday. “Our laws are clear and we will prevail in defending them.”

Following the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision to end constitutional protections for abortion, access to abortion has been flickering in Louisiana, which is home to three clinics.

Amid the flurry of court challenges to the state’s near-total ban on abortions, the ban has taken effect twice and been blocked twice since last month's Supreme Court ruling.

On Thursday, Johnson ruled that clinics can continue providing abortion procedures while a lawsuit filed by a north Louisiana abortion clinic and others continues. The order gives attorneys on both sides 30 days to develop plans for a trial on whether the law should be permanently blocked.

Landry has predicted that the case will wind up at the Louisiana Supreme Court.