A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Federal judge to extend temporary restraining order suspending Kentucky’s omnibus abortion law

By Tessa Redmond and Mark Maynard
Kentucky Today

A federal judge said on Monday that she would renew for another 14 days her temporary restraining order that suspended Kentucky’s omnibus abortion law.

U.S. District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings said she would make a ruling by May 19 if she would enter a preliminary injunction blocking parts of the law. She will renew the restraining order Wednesday.

Both sides argued Monday during a lengthy hearing. EMW Women’s Surgical Center and Planned Parenthood, the state’s two abortion providers, have sued over House Bill 3, saying the law is unconstitutional and could not be complied with because of the new requirements.

The law took effect immediately April 13 through an emergency clause after lawmakers overwhelmingly overrode Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto.

EMW and Planned Parenthood stopped abortions for eight days after the new law was in place for fear of fines if they proceeded. Abortions resumed after the restraining order was issued.

“Today, we continued our defense of House Bill 3, the Humanity in Healthcare Act, by arguing that it should be enforced while the legal challenge against it continues,” said Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said. “Because this important law protects both the health and safety of women and unborn life, we asked the judge to deny Planned Parenthood’s and EMW’s motions against it.” 

Cameron, whose office is defending HB 3, has said clinics could comply with many of the requirements in the new law until forms and systems are provided by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

“We maintain that there is no reason this law should be stopped from taking effect. The abortion clinics have argued that they cannot comply with any of the law until new reporting forms are created,” he said. “While we disagree, there is a simple solution. We are hopeful that Governor Beshear and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services will promptly complete the new forms.”

The bill addresses medical abortions (regulating the dispensing of abortion pills), the disposal of fetal remains, judicial bypass and parental consent for abortion on minors, abortion complications and abortion incidence reporting in the Commonwealth. The law also includes a ban on abortions after 15 weeks.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment