A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Attorney General Cameron wins Court of Appeals’ decision in abortion ban case; clinics halt work for now

By Jack Brammer
NKyTribune reporter
Kentucky’s only two abortion clinics – EMW Women’s Surgical Center and Planned Parenthood, both in Louisville – stopped providing abortions Monday night for the time being in light of a court victory for Attorney General Daniel Cameron.

The stoppage by the two clinics came shortly after the Kentucky Court of Appeals granted Cameron’s emergency request to block a temporary ban put into effect by Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Mitch Perry on the state’s so-called 2019 “trigger law” that would restrict abortion access.

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

Samuel Crankshaw, a spokesperson for the ACLU, said it will appeal the Court of Appeals’ action to the Kentucky Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Cameron said in an email, “Today the Court of Appeals granted our motion to have the Kentucky Human Life Protection Act and the Heartbeat Law reinstated in the Commonwealth.

“I appreciate the court’s decision to allow Kentucky’s pro-life laws to take effect while we continue to vigorously defend the constitutionality of these important protections for women and unborn children across the Commonwealth.”

Cameron was referring to the so-called trigger law that 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.

Crankshaw acknowledged that Cameron for now will be able to enforce the state’s trigger law and six-week ban.

“For the time being, abortion is illegal in Kentucky,” said Crankshaw.

Crankshaw noted that Cameron had previously appealed Perry’s orders blocking the enforcement of the state’s abortion bans and lost both times.

“We hope the Kentucky Supreme Court continues to see the importance of maintaining the nearly 50-year status quo that protected the right to legal abortion in the commonwealth as our lawsuit plays out in court,” he said.

Crankshaw said EMW will stop providing abortion care for the time being and patients who need abortion in the meantime should go to abortionfinder.org.

“Kentuckians deserve better than extremist politicians who will risk your bodily autonomy to score cheap political points,” he said. “No Kentuckian should ever be forced to remain pregnant against their will. Despite this setback, we will never stop fighting for your right to make the best decisions for yourself.”

Planned Parenthood officials decried the appellate court order but pledged to “explore all options to ensure that people across the state can access abortion services.”

Nicole Erwin, a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood, confirmed late Monday night that it has halted abortions in Kentucky.

The Court of Appeals order Monday night noted that the constitutionality of the trigger law and six-week ban has not yet been determined by the circuit court, “which must have the first say on that issue.”

But the appellate court said it could rule on Cameron’s emergency request. It said its order will stay in effect while a three-judge appellate panel considers Cameron’s appeal and his request to transfer the case immediately to the state Supreme Court.

Thompson said he granted Cameron’s request for emergency relief because it is Cameron’s job as attorney general to enforce state laws and that any abortions performed during the court hearings cannot be undone.

In November, Kentucky voters will decide whether to change the Kentucky Constitution to stop all abortions in the state.

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One Comment

  1. D Rubenstein says:

    KY Attorney General Cameron is taking our state back to the ‘50’s when women had no rights. I was appalled with him during his handling of the killing of Breonna Taylor and now he is showing how depraved he truly is. He does NOT care about the women in our state. With people like him in charge, we will remain a hick southern state.

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