A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Clinics turn to Kentucky Supreme Court to restore abortion access in the state

By Jack Brammer
NKyTribune reporter
Abortion providers asked the Kentucky Supreme Court Tuesday to vacate the Kentucky Court of Appeals order that blocked a temporary ban on the state’s 2019 “trigger law” to restrict abortion access.

The providers told the state’s highest court in an 11-page filing that the appellate court order “has upended 50 years of the status quo by halting abortion access in the Commonwealth.”

They said patients previously scheduled for abortion care are now being turned away, and they will continue to be turned away if the Supreme Court does not vacate the appellate court order.

Every day that abortion is banned results in irreparable harm to Kentuckians who are forced to remain pregnant against their will, at substantial risk to their health, life and well-being, the providers said.

“Many of these Kentuckians will never be able to obtain abortions, and will experience the lifelong consequences of forced pregnancy, forced childbirth and forced childbirth,” the providers said.

“These are harms that can never be undone, and they constitute ‘extraordinary cause’ warranting” vacating the appellate court order.”

The appellate court on Monday granted Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s emergency request to block a temporary ban put into effect by Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Mitch Perry on the “trigger law” that would restrict abortion access.

Cameron claims there is no constitutional right to abortion in Kentucky.

Kentucky’s only two abortion clinics – EMW Women’s Surgical Center and Planned Parenthood, both in Louisville – stopped providing abortions Monday night after the appellate court order was issued.

The appellate court also approved Cameron’s request for a six-week ban on abortions.

The abortion providers pledged to appeal quickly to the Supreme Court, and they did.

Leigh Anne Hiatt, a spokesperson for the Kentucky Supreme Court, said Tuesday the parties in the case will have until 4:30 p.m ET this Friday to file a response.

She said there is no expected time frame for a decision at this time by the Supreme Court.

At issue is the trigger law. It was designed to stop abortions in Kentucky except when a mother’s life is in danger once the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that allowed abortions.

The U.S. Supreme Court did that on June 24, saying there was no federal constitutional right to abortions.

That prompted the ACLU of Kentucky, American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai’i, Alaska, Indiana and Kentucky, to file a lawsuit against the trigger law on behalf of the state’s only two abortion providers.

The appellate court order Monday made most abortions in Kentucky illegal for the time being.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment