Who is Robin Giarrusso? Louisiana judge BLOCKS state from enforcing abortion ban

Who is Robin Giarrusso? Louisiana judge BLOCKS state from enforcing abortion ban
Robin Giarrusso (R) temporarily stopped the state from enforcing abortion ban (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images and Orleans Civil District Court)

Abortion remains legal in Louisiana as New Orleans Civil District Judge Robin Giarrusso put a hold on the abortion ban by issuing a temporary restraining order on Monday, June 27. She has stopped the officials from enforcing the state’s newly activated ban, which went into effect after the US Supreme Court struck down Roe v Wade last week. Giarrusso's order is in effect until a hearing that she set on July 8.

The 70-year-old judge signed a temporary restraining order preventing enforcement after Louisiana abortion providers filed a lawsuit on June 27 arguing that the trigger bans are unconstitutionally vague. The Hope Medical Group for Women, one of Louisiana’s three abortion clinics, is one of the plaintiffs in the case. In response to the order, Kathaleen Pittman, administrator of Hope Medical Group for Women, said the Shreveport clinic will begin providing abortions again on June 28. She told WRKF, "Staffers are reaching out to 400 women who had their appointments canceled after the ruling came down. It’s a temporary reprieve. But it’s a reprieve.”


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Joanna Wright, the New Orleans attorney leading the lawsuit, said, “Louisiana’s rushed and poorly conceived trigger laws are unconstitutionally vague and violate due process. It is unfortunate that in his haste to score political points in the aftermath of Dobbs, the state’s Attorney General (Jeff Landry) has ushered in an era of complete disregard for women’s bodily integrity and reproductive autonomy.”

Adding to it, Louisiana Right to Life, the state’s influential anti-abortion rights group, said it is “confident that our pro-life laws will be vindicated.” As per the reports, Ben Clapper, the executive director of Louisiana Right to Life said, "While these matters are still developing, Louisiana law is clear that babies will be protected from abortion when Roe v Wade is overturned. We are confident that our courts, whether at the district, appellate, or state Supreme Court level, will affirm our laws in time.”

Post the order was issued by Giarrusso, Louisiana Solicitor General Liz Murrill told NPR’s Sarah McCammon that the attorney general’s office plans to file a legal challenge to force the trigger laws back into place.


Who is Robin Giarrusso?

Judge Giarrusso is a graduate of Newcomb College and the Tulane University Law School. She served on the staff of the City Attorney’s Office prior to her election where she specialized in contract and public matters. The judge is a former board member of Resources for Independent Living, Easter Seals, and the Education and Support Program for Children’s Hospital. Coming to her achievements, she has received the First Annual Michaelle Pitard Wynne Professionalism Award given by the Association of Women Attorneys. She bagged the '2015 Distinguished Jurist Award' from the Pro Bono Project and later, an award for distinguished public service from the National Urban League.

Louisiana is one of 13 states that has reinstated bans or strict limits following the high court ruling. Similar lawsuits have been filed in Utah and Ohio to stop trigger bans. In Utah, a judge on June 27 granted a restraining order that would stop the state's trigger law for 14 days following a request for a temporary injunction from the pro-choice group Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union. Meanwhile, in Florida, which had over 40 years of protected abortion rights in the state constitution through a privacy amendment, a judge weighed a request from abortion rights groups and clinics over whether to block a law banning abortions after 15 weeks in that state. 

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