BATON ROUGE, La. — A federal judge has temporarily blocked enforcement of Louisiana’s restrictive new abortion law.
District Judge John W. deGravelles said that the law can still take effect Monday but that officials cannot penalize doctors or clinics for breaking it while a challenge is heard.
The law would require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of their clinics. A Center for Reproductive Rights lawsuit says that doctors haven’t had enough time to get privileges and that the law probably would force the state’s five abortion clinics to close.
DeGravelles said the doctors’ risk of fines and losing licenses outweighs any injury to the state from keeping the status quo. He noted the state health secretary said she won’t enforce the law against doctors who’ve applied to hospitals but have no decision.