General · February 2, 2021

Louisiana: Gag Order Lifted In Historic Abortion Case

Baton Rouge,  LA (STL.News) A federal court has lifted a prior restraint imposed on Louisiana legislators and prominent national journalists preventing access to and public discussion of information contained in court records related to Louisiana abortion providers.  While granting access to numerous documents in June Medical Services, LLC V.s Phillips, the court noted that much of what the abortion providers sought to keep sealed was “an abuse of this process.”

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, whose office has fought tirelessly to defend Louisiana’s laws and to protect the public from dangerous behavior, hailed the court action as a victory for transparency and public safety.

“For too long, the public has been barred from critical information relating to the safety of women and girls in Louisiana,” said Attorney General Landry.  “The State has fought for more open access; yet journalists and elected officials alike were prohibited from accessing public facts only because they had become part of the court’s record.”

“Today, that affront to our First Amendment is over,” continued Attorney General Landry.  “Now the public may be able to see the full record in cases where abortion providers are seeking to minimize regulation against a backdrop of documented health and safety violations, destruction of medical records, and medical malpractice.”

Attorney General Landry also reiterated his commitment to women’s health and safety.  “Access should never be able to supersede safety.  I will continue to defend laws that ensure the health and safety of women and girls from abortion providers in Louisiana who do not comply with the laws and regulations of our State.”

The court order directs that some documents be immediately unsealed, but provides plaintiffs with an opportunity to redact other documents over the coming weeks.