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Kevin McGill/Associated Press

  • Abortion bans are temporarily blocked in Louisiana and Utah, while a federal court in South Carolina says a law sharply restricting the procedure can take effect there immediately. The decisions emerged as the battle over whether women may end pregnancies shifted from the nation's highest court to courthouses around the country. The U.S. Supreme Court's decision Friday to end constitutional protection for abortion opened the gates for a wave of litigation.
  • A South Carolina mother has traveled to New Orleans in hopes of learning more about her the death of her 21-year-old daughter. Ciaya Whetstone was a senior at the University of New Orleans. She died Feb. 19 after being dropped off at a New Orleans hospital. Her friends told local news outlets she had gone to Carnival parades in suburban Metairie the night before and had checked on her dog at home in New Orleans before leaving with a driver for a ride share service that morning. The coroner's office says it could be weeks before an investigation into the cause of her death is complete.
  • A second set of states has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers. The suit filed in Louisiana on behalf of 12 states was dated Monday. It comes less than a week after another lawsuit challenging the rule was filed in Missouri by a coalition of 10 states. Both lawsuits say the rule issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services violates federal law and unconstitutionally encroaches on powers reserved to the states. In addition to Louisiana, the latest suit covers Montana, Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah and West Virginia.