Jefferson County judge temporarily blocks Kentucky abortion ban

Published 2:25 pm Thursday, June 30, 2022

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A Jefferson County circuit court judge issued a restraining order that has temporarily blocked Kentucky’s “trigger law” banning abortion across the commonwealth on Thursday.

The ACLU of Kentucky filed the lawsuit on Monday, along with and Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai‘i, Alaska, Indiana. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron and Eric Friedlander, secretary of Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services, were among the named defendants in the lawsuit.

The suit came in response to the United State’s Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health that ended federally backed access to abortion services. The decision immediately enacted a “trigger law” passed in the Kentucky General Assembly in 2019 that banned abortion services except for dire medical emergencies.

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Judge Mitch Perry heard arguments in the case Wednesday. Attorneys representing Kentucky’s two abortion providers, EMW Women’s Surgical Center and Planned Parenthood- both loacted in Louisville – argued that Kentucky’s constitution allows for abortion.

The ACLU and Planned Parenthood were pleased with the ruling.

“We’re glad the court recognized the devastation happening in Kentucky and decided to block the commonwealth’s cruel abortion bans. Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe last Friday, numerous Kentuckians have been forced to carry pregnancies against their will or flee their home state in search of essential care. Despite this victory, we know this fight is far from over — especially with politicians like Attorney General Daniel Cameron doing everything they can to score political points at the expense of Kentuckians’ wellbeing. We won’t stop fighting for people’s ability to access the essential abortion care they need in Kentucky. The government should never have the authority to force a person to remain pregnant against their will,” the organizations said in a joint news release.

After the ruling Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron expressed his dismay at the ruling.

“We cannot let the same mistake that happened in Roe v. Wade, nearly 50 years ago, to be made again in Kentucky … The U.S. Supreme Court made it abundantly clear in Dobbs (v. Jackson Women’s Health) that decisions about the protection of life should be decided by the states and the people through their representatives,” the AG said in a released statement. “Our General Assembly clearly expressed Kentucky’s support for life by passing the Human Life Protection Act with bipartisan support. We will do everything possible to continue defending this law and to ensure that unborn life is protected in the commonwealth”

The temporary restraining order does not have a set end date, but there is another hearing scheduled for Wednesday, July 6.