If Roe is weakened or overturned:
Louisiana will likely try to prohibit abortion. Louisiana has a trigger ban intended to prohibit abortion in almost all situations if ever legally permissible. And in 2019, Louisiana enacted a six-week ban on abortion that, if allowed to go into effect, could prohibit abortion before many people know they are pregnant.
Louisiana law generally prohibits abortion at twenty weeks post-fertilization and post-viability.1 Louisiana enacted a six-week and a fifteen-week ban, but they are not in effect.2 The state prohibits D&X and D&E procedures3 and abortions after twenty or more weeks post-fertilization sought for reasons of disability.4 The state is not currently enforcing the D&E and reason bans.5 Pregnant people who seek abortion care must undergo a mandatory twenty-four-hour waiting period, biased counseling, and an ultrasound.6 Louisiana also limits public funding for,7 and private insurance coverage of, abortion.8 Louisiana law generally requires that a parent, legal guardian,9 or judge10 consent to a minor’s abortion.
In 2020, Louisiana exploited the COVID-19 pandemic in an attempt to ban abortion care, issuing an executive order11 that purported to suspend procedures deemed “non-emergency” by the state. This order contradicted major medical groups in the United States and around the world, which agree that abortion is essential and time sensitive health care.12 During the pendency of the lawsuit, the parties were able to reach an agreement allowing abortion care to proceed during COVID.13 Additionally, on November 3, 2020, Louisiana voters will be asked to approve an amendment to the state constitution, which specifies that the constitution does not protect abortion or require funding for abortion care.14
Louisiana’s targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) laws include requirements related to facilities;15 admitting privileges, which are permanently enjoined16 and reporting.17 Louisiana law restricts the provision of abortion care to licensed physicians18 and restricts providers from using telemedicine for the provision of abortion care.19 Providers who violate Louisiana’s abortion restrictions may face civil and criminal penalties.20
Louisiana law does not include express constitutional or statutory protections for abortion.
Laws that could be enforced if Roe v. Wade is limited or overturned
In 2006, Louisiana enacted a trigger ban.21 Louisiana retains a statute that prohibits abortion, although federal courts have found it repealed by implication and, once the legislature amended and reenacted it, unconstitutional.22
If Roe v. Wade is limited or overturned, it is likely the state will attempt to enforce its trigger ban to prohibit abortion entirely.
- 1. LA. STAT. ANN. § 40:1061.1(D)–(G); id. § 40:1061.13.
- 2. S.B. 184, 45th Gen. Assemb., Reg. Session (La. 2019); LA. STAT. ANN. § 14:87.
- 3. LA. STAT. ANN § 40:1061.1.1; id. § 40:1061.28.
- 4. Id. § 40:1061.1.2.
- 5. These restrictions are part of the ongoing challenge, June Med. Servs., LLC v. Gee, No. CV 16-444-BAJ-RLB (M.D. La.).
- 6. LA. STAT. ANN. § 40:1061.16 (Louisiana is currently enforcing a 24-hour waiting period, see June, No. CV 16-444-BAJ-RLB); LA. STAT. ANN. § 40:1061.17; id. § 40:1061.10.
- 7. Id. § 40:1061.6. Rape and incest claims must be reported to law enforcement. See id. § 40:1061.18.
- 8. LA. STAT. ANN. § 22:1014(B).
- 9. Id. § 40:1061.14.
- 10. Id. § 40:1061.14(a)(2).
- 11. La. Dep’t of Health, Healthcare Facility Notice/Order #2020-COVID19-All-007 (Mar. 21, 2020), http://www.lsbn.state.la.us/Portals/1/Documents/news/LDHMedSurgUpdated.pdf.
- 12. See Joint Statement on Abortion Access During the COVID-19 Outbreak, Am. Coll. Obstetrics & Gynecology (Mar. 18, 2020), https://www.acog.org/news/news-releases/2020/03/joint-statement-on-abortion-access-during-the-covid-19-outbreak; Disaster Risk Management for Health, Sexual and Reproductive Health, World Health Org. (May 2011), https://www.who.int/hac/events/drm_fact_sheet_sexual_and_reproductive_health.pdf; Safe Abortion Care in the Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) for Sexual and Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Settings, Inter-Agency Working Grp. (Dec. 19, 2019), https://iawg.net/resources/safe-abortion-care-in-the-minimum-initial-service-package-misp-for-sexual-and-reproductive-health-in-humanitarian-settings.
- 13. June Medical Services v. Russo, No. 3:20-cv-229-JWD (M.D. La. 2020).
- 14. La. Sec’y of State, Statement of Proposed Constitutional Amendments November 3, 2020, https://www.sos.la.gov/ElectionsAndVoting/PublishedDocuments/ProposedConstitutionalAmendments2020Summaries.pdf.
- 15. LA. STAT. ANN. § 40:2175.4.
- 16. Id. § 40:1061.10; June Med. Servs. v. Russo, 140 S. Ct. 2103, 207 L. Ed. 2d 566 (2020).
- 17. LA. STAT. ANN. § 40:1061.21(C).
- 18. Id. § 40: 1061.10.
- 19. Id. § 40:1061.11.
- 20. See, e.g., id. § 40:1061.29.
- 21. LA. STAT. ANN. § 40:1061, formerly id. § 140:1299.30.
- 22. Weeks v. Connick, 733 F. Supp. 1036, 1039 (E.D. La. 1990) (holding that pre-Roe criminal abortion statutes, LA. STAT. ANN. §§ 14:87, 87.4, 88, were repealed by implication). Sojourner v. Roemer, 772 F. Supp. 930, 931 (E.D. La. 1991), aff'd sub nom. Sojourner T v. Edwards, 974 F.2d 27 (5th Cir. 1992) cert denied, 507 U.S. 972, 113 S. Ct. 1414, 122 L. Ed. 2d 785 (1993) (holding LA. STAT. ANN. §§ 14:87 unconstitutional after reenactment).