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Abortion ban to be reinstated in Louisiana as appeals continue

A three judge panel ruled that the state's trigger law must remain in effect while the legal process plays out.

BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana's abortion ban is positioned to be enforced again, after an appeals court ruled Friday that the state must be granted a suspensive appeal while a lawsuit challenging the ban continues to play out in court.

It wasn’t immediately clear when the ban would go back into effect. Lawyers for the plaintiff's in the case have said the ban cannot be enforced until state Judge Donald Johnson signs the motion.

“It’s disappointing that without providing plaintiffs a chance to oppose the appeal, the First Circuit has essentially eliminated critical healthcare services in the state," said Joanna Wright, an attorney for the plaintiff. "This decision involves a technical reading of a statute involving when a preliminary injunction should be stayed. Judge Johnson’s recent ruling that plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits of their case regarding the unconstitutional vagueness of the trigger bans has not even been considered yet by a court of appeal.”

The decision is expected to shut down clinics for the third time since the U.S. Supreme Court's decision last month to end constitutional protections for abortion.

On July 21, Johnson ruled that clinics can continue providing abortion procedures while a lawsuit filed by a north Louisiana abortion clinic and others continues.

Earlier this week, Johnson denied a motion from Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry to suspend his ruling, that blocked enforcement of the ban, while the defendants pursue an appeal.

On Friday morning, Landry filed a supervisory writ, with Louisiana's 1st Court of Appeals, in the hopes of reversing Johnson's. The court granted Landry's writ.

Louisiana's abortion ban does not have exceptions for rape or incest. The law does provide an exception for “medically futile” pregnancies in cases of fetuses with fatal abnormalities.

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