Gov. John Bel Edwards confirmed Thursday that he and Attorney General Jeff Landry sent investigators into Louisiana abortion clinics that remain open amid the state’s the coronavirus outbreak.
In his daily press briefing, Edwards said the enforcement effort would extend to any medical facilities in violation of the Department of Health’s orders, which have shuttered most outpatient medical facilities and suspended all elective procedures until further notice in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.
Landry said his office set up a task force to look into reports of non-compliance. So far, he’s sent investigators to three facilities — including the Delta Clinic of Baton Rouge and Hope Medical Group for Women in Shreveport.
All three of the state’s abortion clinics closed for a time after the LDH order took effect, but abortion rights advocates argued that the procedure is essential and time sensitive. The clinics in Shreveport and New Orleans continue to perform the procedure.
Edwards and Landry rarely see eye-to-eye, but both have ardent opponents of abortion rights throughout their careers.
Last year, Edwards signed into law one of the most restrictive abortion regulations in the country, which would ban the procedure as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.
In March, Landry’s solicitor went to the U.S. Supreme Court to argue in defense of another Louisiana abortion regulation — a case that could lead to the most significant abortion rights decision since Roe v. Wade.