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Kentucky’s State Supreme Court Blocks AG’s Request To Reinstate Near-Total Abortion Ban

On Tuesday, the Kentucky Supreme Court denied the state attorney general’s emergency appeal to have a near-total abortion ban blocked by a circuit court judge reinstated. 

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade triggered a Kentucky law, the Human Life Protection Act, that bans all abortions aside from those performed to save the mother’s life or prevent her serious injury. 

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit on behalf of state abortion providers last week alleging the law unconstitutionally forces women to “remain pregnant against their will.”

Last week, Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Mitch Perry granted a temporary restraining order to block the law. Attorneys for the two abortion clinics in Kentucky argued the state’s constitution protects the right to an abortion. In defending the state law, Cameron’s legal team said no such constitutional right exists. 

On Saturday, the Kentucky Court of Appeals denied Cameron’s request to stay the decision. Since then, abortions have continued in the state. 

Kentucky’s Attorney General Daniel Cameron asked the state Supreme Court to reinstate the ban. 

On Tuesday, that request was denied.

“The [state] Supreme Court’s decision to continue delaying enforcement of Kentucky’s Human Life Protection Act and Heartbeat Law is disappointing,” Cameron told local reporters. “We will not be deterred in defending these important laws, and our team will make a strong case tomorrow in Jefferson Circuit Court to have the laws reinstated.”

Samuel Crankshaw of Kentucky’s ACLU responded, saying, “The Kentucky Supreme Court has now denied [AG Cameron’s] second attempt to block an emergency order protecting Kentuckians’ rights to privacy, bodily autonomy, and self-determination, as outlined in the state constitution.” 

Kentucky is the third state to have its abortion trigger law temporarily blocked. Pro-choice activists have filed many lawsuits to stop or delay the enforcement of abortion bans.

Judges in Texas and Louisiana have blocked trigger laws and will hold hearings in July to decide on the lawsuits.

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