The high court on Friday overturned the “Roe v. Wade” judgment which for nearly 50 years had guaranteed the right of American women to terminate their pregnancy, giving states the freedom to ban abortions.
Several immediately rushed to declare abortions illegal on their territory, relying in particular on laws that have remained dormant so far. Others intend to reduce the delays for abortion.
But the legal counter-offensive was quick, with complaints filed in state courts rather than federal justice.
In Louisiana, a clinic and medical students have attacked the three laws banning abortions, arguing that they are too “vague” since they do not clearly specify exceptions or associated penalties.
Judge Robin Giarrusso on Monday blocked those laws until a July 8 hearing.
“Abortions can resume in Louisiana,” the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represented the plaintiffs, immediately tweeted.
“Every day a clinic is open can make a difference in someone’s life,” clinic president Nancy Northup said in a statement.
The victory may only be short-lived, with Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry promising “to do everything in (his) power to ensure that the laws protecting unborn children come into effect.”
Similar battles are being played out across the country. In Utah, a court also temporarily suspended the ban on abortion, following a complaint filed by the powerful family planning association Planned Parenthood.
This represents “a victory, but it is only the first step in what will undoubtedly be a long and difficult fight”, commented the association, which had initiated these proceedings on the grounds that the ban on abortions violates, according to her, the Constitution of the State.
The same argument is advanced in Florida by the detractors of a law reducing to 15 weeks the legal deadline for an abortion, which must come into force on Friday.
Other procedures take place in Ohio, Kentucky, Idaho, Texas or even Mississippi.
This guerrilla should delay the deadline but, according to the Guttmacher Institute, half of the states, especially in the south and the center conservative and religious, should in the more or less long term ban abortions on their soil.