Two US state judges temporarily halt abortion bans
Florida, Jul 01: Judges in the US states of Florida and Kentucky on Thursday temporarily blocked state abortion bans from going into effect, a week after the Supreme Court struck down the federal right to terminate a pregnancy established by the Roe v. Wade ruling of 1973.
In Tallahassee, Florida, Circuit Court Judge John Cooper sided with an abortion rights group and put a temporary hold on the state's so-called "trigger" law that banned all abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.
"I do find the state has failed to provide convincing and credible evidence that this law, HB 5, exhibits a compelling state interest to be protected," Cooper said, adding that the law violates people's right to privacy.
Trigger laws were enacted by several states when former US President Donald Trump elevated three conservative justices onto the Supreme Court. The laws stipulated that comprehensive abortion bans would go into effect if Roe v. Wade was ever overturned.
In Kentucky, Jefferson County Circuit Judge Mitch Perry issued a temporary restraining order to prevent the state from enforcing its own trigger law, which would allow abortions only if the pregnant woman's health was in serious danger.
State courts in Texas, Louisiana and Utah have also temporarily blocked bans in those states since last week, and abortion providers are seeking similar relief in states including Idaho, Ohio, Mississippi and West Virginia. None of these measures are permanent and are subject to further hearings.
Florida's 15-week ban, which was signed into law by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis in April, was set to take effect on Friday. The law mirrors the Mississippi law at the heart of the Supreme Court case that reversed Roe.
The Supreme Court on Thursday also threw out federal court rulings that had invalidated abortion limits in Arizona, Arkansas, and Indiana that had all been based on Roe.