New Orleans council to vote on decriminalizing abortion

Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 8:27 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New Orleans City Council members will vote Thursday on decriminalizing abortion in the city by refusing to enforce the state’s new “trigger” law.

Abortions are currently accessible in Louisiana after a temporary restraining order (TRO) was filed, stopping the law from entirely going into effect.

The resolution is backed by all seven members of the city council and would protect people who seek or perform abortions from arrest or prosecution.

The resolution calls the state’s abortion ban a direct attack on a person’s ability to make their own choices and represents a “stark regression of reproductive rights.”

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.”

It will also direct the city to ban the use of local tax dollars, including police officers or the district attorney, from enforcing new state laws criminalizing abortion.

Elsewhere in Louisiana, enforcement of the state’s trigger law is on hold. For now, abortions are still accessible until court matters are resolved.

More: Louisiana high court leaves abortion bans on hold

Louisiana’s attorney general, Jeff Landry, has been unable to enforce the trigger law after a lawsuit was filed by a Shreveport abortion clinic, claiming the wording of the law is too vague when it comes to medical exemptions.

A New Orleans Civil District Court judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking the bans from taking effect.

The Louisiana Supreme Court declined Wednesday to get involved, ruling the matter should be decided in lower courts.

“Because the issue was vagueness in the trigger law, that no matter what the courts do the legislature can come back and correct whatever they need to correct,” Fox 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti says. “I think that ultimately, the abortion clinics are going to be closed here in Louisiana.”

A hearing in the case is scheduled for Friday.

“On Friday, the judge can continue the temporary restraining order another 15 days or she can more likely rule one way or the other,” he added. “I would assume the loser is going to take her up one way or the other on appeal and it may end up back in the Louisiana Supreme Court.”

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