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1A Remaking America: The legal minefield for abortions in Texas and Louisiana

Kathaleen Pittman, administrator of the Hope Medical Group for Women looks at a schedule board in an office in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Kathaleen Pittman, administrator of the Hope Medical Group for Women looks at a schedule board in an office in Shreveport, Louisiana.

So-called “Trigger” laws in 13 states were on the books when Roe v. Wade was overturned. But abortion is still legal in some of these places due to legal battles playing out in state courts.

Pro-abortion rights lawyers in Louisiana have successfully argued for an order that pauses their state’s law for now. A district court judge could rule either way as early as this week.

But weekly changes in legality are wearing down both patients seeking this care and those who provide it.

In Texas, abortion access halted months ago due to a state law that allows anyone to sue someone for abortion crimes. State Attorney General Ken Paxton says he will prosecute offenders criminally even though no current law allows it.

Some district attorneys in urban areas in these states say they won’t prosecute abortion crimes in their jurisdiction, though that reassurance has not been enough to keep clinics open.

We talk about legal liabilities, abortion providers, OBGYNs, and patients in these two states.

This conversation is part of our Remaking America collaboration with six public radio stations around the country. Remaking America is funded in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Copyright 2022 WAMU 88.5

June Leffler, Mia Estrada