A Louisiana judge on Monday (June 27) temporarily suspended laws prohibiting women in that state from having abortions, adding to the confusion in the United States since the reversal of the Supreme Court on the subject.
The High Court on Friday overturned the “Roe v. Wade” which for nearly 50 years guaranteed the right of American women to terminate their pregnancies, giving states the freedom to ban abortions. Several had immediately hastened to declare abortions illegal on their territory, relying in particular on laws that have remained dormant so far. Others intend to reduce the delays for abortion.
But the legal counter-offensive was quick, with complaints filed in state courts rather than federal justice. In Louisiana, a clinic and medical students have attacked the three laws banning abortions, arguing that they are too “vague” since they do not clearly specify exceptions or associated penalties. Judge Robin Giarrusso on Monday blocked those laws until a July 8 hearing.
“Abortions can resume in Louisiana,” the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represented the plaintiffs, immediately tweeted. “Every day a clinic is open can make a difference in someone’s life,” clinic president Nancy Northup said in a statement. In Mississippi, too, abortion is still legal.
Only temporary decisions
Those victories may only be short-lived, as Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry promised “to do everything in (his) power to ensure that laws protecting unborn children come into effect.” Similar battles are being played out across the country. In Utah, a court also temporarily suspended the ban on abortion, following a complaint filed by the powerful family planning association Planned Parenthood.
This represents “a victory, but it is only the first step in what will undoubtedly be a long and difficult fight”, commented the association, which had brought these lawsuits on the grounds that the ban on abortions violates, according to her, the Constitution of the State. The same argument is advanced in Florida by critics of a law reducing the legal deadline for an abortion to 15 weeks, which is due to come into force on Friday.
Other procedures take place in Ohio, Kentucky, Idaho, Texas or even Mississippi. This guerrilla should delay the deadline but, according to the Guttmacher Institute, half of the States, especially in the South and the conservative and religious center, should in the more or less long term ban abortions on their soil.