By Anne Reed

Louisiana and West Virginia were abortion free for what seemed like moments in the broad scheme of things after Roe v. Wade was overturned last month. Operation Rescue has verified that, while abortions had temporarily halted, abortion businesses in the two states are busy scheduling and performing abortions again. 

Both states worked through the appropriate legislative processes to put laws on the books banning abortion. Though the time frame for the legislative actions is spread across more than a century, the conviction of the people in each state to protect innocent lives is the same. 

In West Virginia, babies in the womb had been protected since a ban was enacted in the 1800s. The Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 nullified that law. The state legislature, however, chose not to repeal it during its 49 years of dormancy, and the reversal of Roe brought the law back to life. 

Louisiana, on the other hand, passed laws more recently, in 2006 and 2022, that would automatically make abortion illegal upon the overturn of Roe v. Wade.  

But judges in both states have effectively blocked the laws that protect life from the moment of conception.  

In Louisiana, for now, abortions continue. 

The courts in Louisiana have flip-flopped so much on the issue, it would be humorous if innocent lives were not hanging in the balance. 

June 24 – Roe v. Wade was overturned.

June 27 – Hope Medical Group for Women (HMGFW), an abortion clinic in Shreveport filed a lawsuit, and Orleans Parish Civil District Court Judge Robinson Giarruso granted a temporary restraining order blocking the trigger laws from taking effect. Abortions resumed.

July 8 – Judge Ethel Simms, also in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court, dissolved the temporary restraining order. Abortions halted. 

July 12 – Judge Donald R. Johnson of the 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge, granted another temporary restraining order and set a hearing for July 18. Abortions resumed…again. 

July 18 – Judge Johnson extended the temporary restraining order blocking the state’s pro-life laws until another hearing set for Friday, July 29. Abortions continue. 

In West Virginia, for now, abortions continue. 

In West Virginia, the situation is not quite so chaotic. The law banning abortion was blocked Monday by Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Tera L. Salango. She granted a preliminary injunction requested by the state’s only abortion clinic, Women’s Health Center of West Virginia. Operation Rescue had verified in early July that the clinic had halted all abortions. Attorney General Patrick has stood on his firm conviction since the overturn of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. He has insisted the law from the 1800s was fully enforceable, just as it was for well over a century prior to 1973. Yet the abortion clinic’s legal team claimed the law was superseded by more recent less restrictive laws. The judge sided with the abortion clinic. 

In Georgia, abortions continue, but are fewer.   

On a positive note, a judge in the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled in favor of the state of Georgia and unblocked its heartbeat law. The law, known as the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act passed in 2019, and was blocked almost immediately. 

Keeping You Informed: State-by-State Efforts to Abolish Abortion Changing by the Hour | Operation Rescue(opens in a new tab)

The decision reversed a lower court ruling made before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The state now has the freedom to rule in a manner consistent with the Georgia state constitution. The law went into force immediately after the opinion was issued Wednesday. 

Not only does the law protect every baby in the womb as soon as his or her heartbeat is detectable, but it also defines a natural person to include unborn humans in the womb at any stage of development.

All three Planned Parenthood clinics in Georgia have halted abortions since the ruling, and one privately owned Savannah clinic closed in June. According to our investigative phone calls, the remaining ten abortion facilities are still scheduling abortions in compliance with the heartbeat law. 

“Georgia has been a state brimming with blood stained killing centers for years, so it is exciting to see a number of them closing,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. 

“We would like to see Georgia go beyond a heartbeat law, but since most expectant mothers either don’t know they are pregnant before six weeks gestation or are unable to schedule an abortion before the baby’s heartbeat is detectable, lives are definitely being saved.”

Refer to our regularly updated map for the status of other states as we pray and work together to abolish abortion.