A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Attorney General Cameron seeks quick appeal in abortion ban case, files with Court of Appeals

By Jack Brammer
NKyTribune reporter
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is pushing his legal fight to stop access to abortions in the state.

The state’s chief law-enforcement official on Thursday appealed the July 22 order by Jefferson Circuit Mitch Perry to put a temporary ban on the state’s so-called 2019 “trigger law” that would restrict abortion access.

Perry’s ruling effectively allows abortion to remain legal in the state as a lawsuit filed by three abortion rights advocates against the trigger law approved by the General Assembly plays out in court.

Their lawsuit argues that the trigger law violates the rights to privacy, bodily autonomy, and self-determination outlined in the Kentucky Constitution.

In a seven-page filing Thursday to the Kentucky Court of Appeals, Cameron asked at least one member of the appellate court to issue an immediate stay against Perry’s ruling.

He also asked the appellate court in a 34-page filing to transfer the case immediately to the Kentucky Supreme Court, the state’s highest court.

“Courts do not make public policy. Yet the circuit court did just that,” Cameron said in his request to transfer the case to the Supreme Court.

He said Perry “created the Kentucky version of Roe v. Wade.” That’s a reference to the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion which the nation’s highest court overturned in June, saying there was no federal constitutional right to an abortion.

The appellate court has given the abortion rights advocates until 4:30 p.m. Monday to respond to Cameron’s motion, said Samuel Crankshaw, a spokesman for the ACLU of Kentucky.

It, along with the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai’i, Alaska, Indiana, and Kentucky, filed the lawsuit against the trigger law on behalf of the state’s only two abortion providers – EMW Women’s Surgical Center and Planned Parenthood, both in Louisville.

Cameron’s appeal said, “And so every moment that the Attorney General is barred from enforcing the will of the people through ­their duly elected representatives constitutes per se irreparable harm to the Commonwealth and its citizens.”

He said, “Once an abortion has been performed, the life of that unborn child is over. No court order can bring that child back.”

Cameron noted that the trigger law protects expectant mothers who require an abortion because her life is in danger.

Kentucky voters in November will be asked at the polls to decide the fate of a proposed state constitutional amendment to stop all abortions in the state.

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