NEW ORLEANS — As Louisiana's trigger laws go into effect, and the state's remaining abortion clinics close, Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams said his office will continue to focus on violent crime rather than abortion.
In a statement published on Friday, Williams said that the court's decision was "disappointing but unsurprising" and only creates "more desperate situations for women and families."
Williams said that the decision "demonstrates complete disregard for the long-established constitutional tenets of our democracy."
The district attorney added that his office is focused on "the most serious crimes committed in our community" like murder, rape, armed robbery and carjackings.
"It would not be wise or prudent to shift our priority from tackling senseless violence happening in our city to investigating the choices women make with regard to their own bodies," Williams said. "The Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe does not change that."
The Supreme Court's conservative majority overturned the court's landmark abortion cases on Friday. The outcome overturning Roe v. Wade is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states, including Louisiana.
As of Friday morning, all three of Louisiana's remaining abortion clinics were closed, according to state Rep. Mandie Landry. In New Orleans, Women's Health Care Center shut its doors shortly after the ruling was published. The clinic locked its doors around 11 a.m. and workers and staff departed.
Landry said the closest state where Louisiana women could obtain an abortion now is Illinois.
The decision, unthinkable just a few years ago, was the culmination of decades of efforts by abortion opponents, made possible by an emboldened right side of the court that has been fortified by three appointees of former President Donald Trump.
The ruling came more than a month after the stunning leak of a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito.