Judge: Louisiana can't enforce abortion law during appeal
NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge says Louisiana cannot enforce an abortion law while appealing his pretrial order against it.
Judge John deGravelles ruled Tuesday in a lawsuit brought by three of Louisiana's five abortion clinics and their doctors.
Lawyers for the state immediately asked the federal appeals court in New Orleans for an emergency order to overrule him and overturn his January preliminary ruling that the law is unconstitutional.
Under the law, doctors who perform abortions must be able to admit patients to a hospital within 30 miles. Supporters say it's intended to protect women. Opponents say it would close four of Louisiana's five clinics.
DeGravelles says Louisiana's ultimate chance of winning is too low compared with the harm enforcement would cause to the clinics and women who want abortions.