Battles over abortion shifted to state courts on Monday after the US Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to the procedure nationwide, as a judge blocked a statewide ban in Louisiana and clinics sued to obtain similar relief in Kentucky and Idaho.
The three are among the 13 states with "trigger laws" designed to ban or severely restrict abortions once the Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that recognised a right to the procedure, as it was on Friday.
In Louisiana, abortion services that had been halted since Friday began resuming after Orleans Parish Civil District Court Judge Robin Giarrusso on Monday issued a temporary restraining order blocking the state from carrying out its ban.
The order came shortly after Hope Medical Group for Women in Shreveport - one of Louisiana's three abortion clinics - sued, arguing Louisiana's trigger laws "lack constitutionally required safeguards to prevent arbitrary enforcement."
The judge set a July 8th hearing to decide whether to further block enforcement of the ban, which Hope Medical said violated its due process rights under the state's constitution.
In Kentucky, two abortion clinics including a Planned Parenthood affiliate filed a state court challenge to an outright abortion ban enacted in 2019 and a separate six-week ban passed that same year.
The lawsuit argued the bans violate patients' rights to privacy and self-determination under the state's constitution.
In Idaho, a Planned Parenthood affiliate asked the state's highest court to block enforcement of a "trigger" law banning abortion that the Republican-controlled state legislature passed in 2020 that would take effect August 19th.
Republican Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry in a statement said his office was "fully prepared to defend these laws in our state courts, just as we have in our federal courts."
His Republican counterparts in Kentucky and Idaho, Daniel Cameron and Lawrence Wasden, did not respond to requests for comment.
The cases are among several challenging Republican-backed abortion laws under state constitutions after the US Supreme Court's ruling.
A Utah branch of Planned Parenthood on Saturday sued over that state's trigger ban, and abortion rights advocates plan to challenge an Ohio ban on abortions after six weeks that took effect on Friday.
In Florida, a group of abortion providers went before a state court judge to argue a challenge to that state's new Republican-backed ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, which they say violates Florida's constitution. - Reuters