Supreme Court’s ruling triggers Louisiana’s tough abortion law

Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 8:23 PM CDT
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Local and state political leaders made their opinions known after the Supreme Court’s decision...
Local and state political leaders made their opinions known after the Supreme Court’s decision Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade.(KWTX)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Most abortions are now banned in Louisiana because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.

Louisiana has had a trigger law on the books since 2006. Pro-life and pro-choice forces reacted differently to the high court’s ruling.

State Rep. Mandy Landry, is a Democrat who is appalled by the Supreme Court’s ruling.

“Our three clinics are now closed, women who need an abortion are going to have to fly to New Mexico, Illinois, New York or women are going to die from this. They are not going to be able to seek the care they need. They’re going to self-terminate,” she said.

While Republican state Sen. Beth Mizell applauds the ruling.

“That was exactly as it was intended. That was what the majority of the legislators in the state voted to happen. And at that point, nobody knew when it would take place, but the intent was that Louisiana, at the moment that Roe versus Wade would be overturned that Louisiana would be ready to implement that at the state level,” said Mizell.

Louisiana’s law does not make any exceptions for rape and incest victims.

Professor Stephen Griffin is a Tulane University constitutional law expert.

“You can’t have an abortion clinic and the only way an abortion can occur really is in the context of what I’ll just call a medical crisis, that puts the woman’s life in jeopardy or the statute uses language about bodily organs shutting down. That would occur in a physician context, not in a context women [of] simply walking into abortion clinics, that’s over,” said Griffin.

Under Louisiana law doctors who perform illegal abortions could face up to 10 years in prison.

“We’re worried about physicians who can’t take care of their patients, who might be worried about performing a life-saving abortion, is it truly lifesaving to a prosecutor or a judge later,” said Landry.

This week Governor John Bel Edwards signed a newer anti-abortion bill into law. Proponents say it cleans up the different variations of abortion laws passed over the year.

“I think with all the variations that have taken place between 2006 and now what we wanted was a very clear path,” said Mizell.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry says he will enforce the laws.

“What we will be doing from the attorney general’s office is again going through the laws and being able to put out, self-explanation, we do it all the time, right? We go out there, we post things on our website so that our citizens in this state are informed on exactly what the law is, so if y’all give us a little time we’ll be more than happy to get those types of answers and some particulars out to the public,” said Landry.

Louisiana law aside, Griffin says the full implications of the Supreme Court’s ruling aren’t known yet.

“They pretty much said that state legislatures are free to legislate in this area, including to protect prenatal life, so state legislatures could think of new ways to protect prenatal life,” said Griffin.

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