ACLU files lawsuit to block Kentucky abortion ban

In downtown Louisville, hundreds of people braved the heat on Friday to protest the Supreme...
In downtown Louisville, hundreds of people braved the heat on Friday to protest the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.(WAVE News)
Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 2:49 PM CDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood have filed a lawsuit to block Kentucky’s abortion ban from taking effect.

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday, which allowed Kentucky’s trigger law, which was already in place, to immediately ban procedures.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Kentucky abortion clinics and a healthcare provider, saying the state constitution does in fact protect the right to privacy and bodily autonomy, which is the right to governance over one’s body.

They’re asking for a temporary restraining order so healthcare clinics can continue providing abortion care while this is all settled in court.

“This is a devastating decision for anyone who is capable of getting pregnant in the state of Kentucky. It’s government overreach. The trigger law has no exceptions for rape, incest or dangers to the mother,” said Angela Cooper with the ACLU of Kentucky.

Cooper said they don’t believe the state’s trigger laws passed in 2019 will eliminate abortions. Rather, she said they believe they’ll eliminate safe abortions.

“If it was about babies, we’d have universal health care, we’d have paid family leave in every state across the country. This is about controlling people with uteruses,” Cooper said.

Governor Beshear expressed similar concerns, calling this an extremist law that removes all options.

“We’re hoping to at least see compassion for victims of domestic violence that today have fewer options than they did last week,” Gov. Beshear said.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron released this statement on Monday:

“To be clear, there is no right to abortion contained in the Commonwealth’s Constitution—and we will stand up against any baseless claim to the contrary. I have always stood strong in defense of life, and I will continue to advocate for our laws, which protect pregnant women and unborn babies.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs definitively stated that each state is the authority on protecting unborn life, and our General Assembly’s passage of the Human Life Protection Act made it clear that most abortions are now illegal.”

In a similar vein, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he feels the current Supreme Court justices are making decisions based on following the law, rather than precedent.

“But let me just say, precedent is important. It is important. But sometimes, precedent is wrong,” McConnell said.

In regards to the ACLU’s lawsuit, Cooper said the next steps are for a judge to grant a hearing. She said they hoped it would happen on Monday, but said it could happen as soon as Tuesday.

Coming up in November, there will be a state constitutional amendment on the ballot, which would ban abortion entirely.

As of this moment, 10 states have already banned or mostly banned abortions, including Kentucky. Neighboring Ohio has banned abortions after six weeks.

As CBS reported, Louisiana’s trigger law banning abortions has been blocked by a state judge.

Five more states, including Tennessee, will ban abortions within a month.

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