AG calls for funding to be cut following New Orleans officials’ pledge not to enforce abortion laws

Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 10:59 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Following pledges from the New Orleans City Council, Mayor, Police Chief, District Attorney and Sheriff not to enforce Louisiana’s abortion laws, the state’s attorney general has called on the treasurer and the bond commission to delay applications and funding for the city.

“It is my belief that a parish or municipality should not benefit from the hard-working taxpayers of this State while ignoring laws validly enacted by the people through their representatives,” said Attorney General Landry. “In light of the City’s open defiance of the will of the people of Louisiana, I urge the Bond Commission to defer any applications for the City of New Orleans, Orleans Parish, and any local governmental entity or political subdivision under its purview.”

“In addition, any other funding that will directly benefit the City of New Orleans should also be paused until such time as the Council, Mayor, Chief of Police, Sheriff, and District Attorney have met with and affirmed that they will comply with and enforce the laws of this State and cooperate with any state officials who may be called upon to enforce them,” he continued.

“The Attorney General’s hostility towards reproductive freedom comes as no surprise. However, what is surprising and troubling, is that the Attorney General would place critical infrastructure and state assets in harm’s way just to score political points for his run for Governor,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

Council president Helena Moreno called the law draconian and said the council “will take strong action to protect pregnant people and medical professionals in our community.”

Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said his officers won’t make abortion-related arrests.

Landry said he considers such edicts “malfeasance” from elected officials and police and says his agency’s investigators, who have full arresting powers and statewide jurisdiction, will enforce the law.

“Through the efforts of the district attorney’s office, the City Council and the New Orleans Police Department, I believe we can make New Orleans a welcoming, safe haven for women seeking reproductive freedom,” Mayor Cantrell said.

The fight over whether the state’s “trigger laws” are constitutional and can take effect continues Tuesday in a Baton Rouge district court.

More: Ban against enforcing Louisiana’s abortion laws remains in effect, as judge extends restraining order at least one more day

“The officials in New Orleans took an oath of office to support and enforce the laws of our State, yet they appear to have decided that some laws are not worthy of enforcement,” added Landry.

Louisiana’s 2006 trigger law, which was updated with Democratic Sen. Katrina Jackson’s bill this summer, was designed to outlaw abortion immediately upon the Supreme Court’s reversal of its Roe v. Wade decision that guaranteed legal abortions.

The state’s abortion ban has no exceptions for rape or incest, though it does have an exception to save the life of a pregnant woman.

Louisiana’s trigger law carries criminal penalties of up to 15 years for abortion providers, though pregnant women can’t be prosecuted.

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