State judge blocks Louisiana from enforcing abortion ban

New Orleans: Louisiana authorities have again been blocked from enforcing a near-total ban on abortion, this time under a judge’s order released Tuesday by a state court in the capital.

Judge Donald Johnson’s order halts enforcement temporarily while lawyers for a north Louisiana clinic and other supporters of abortion rights pursue a lawsuit challenging the legislation. Johnson set a hearing for next Monday.

State Attorney General Jeff Landry criticized the ruling in a series of posts on Twitter. “To have the judiciary create a legal circus is disappointing,” Landry wrote in one post. “The rule of law must be followed, and I will not rest until it is. Unfortunately, we will have to wait a little bit longer for that to happen,” he added.

Kathaleen Pittman, director of the north Louisiana clinic that was the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, expressed relief in a phone interview. Pittman said the Hope Medical Group for Women clinic in Shreveport is ready to resume counseling and abortions. Louisiana’s two other clinics are in the capital, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans.

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