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Judge issues Temporary Injunction against Kentucky’s pro-life laws

by | Jul 22, 2022

By Dave Andrusko

On Monday, Attorney General Daniel Cameron asked Jefferson Circuit Judge Mitch Perry to deny a request by Kentucky’s two abortion facilities for a temporary injunction that would extend a previous order preventing enforcement of the laws against the facilities. The abortion providers claim that the laws violate a never-before-recognized state constitutional right to abortion.

Instead, Judge Perry issued a 20-page opinion today that said lawyers for Planned Parenthood and EWM Women’s Surgical Center had raised “substantial questions” about the laws that merit resolution. 

“The Plaintiffs have sustained their burden of demonstrating substantial questions on the merits regarding the constitutionality of the challenged laws,” he wrote. “As discussed further below, the Court finds that there is a substantial likelihood that these laws violate the right to privacy and self-detmination.”

Judge Perry’s injunction “means abortions will remain available in Kentucky while a legal challenge to the law proceeds in his court,” Deborah Yetter reported. “Perry’s ruling extends a temporary order he issued June 30 barring enforcement of the state’s ‘trigger law’ that automatically banned abortion once the U.S. Supreme Court struck down abortion as a constitutional right.”

The abortion facilities also asked that Kentucky’s Heartbeat Law be struck. This law bans abortions after the baby’s heartbeat can be detected, roughly at six weeks.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron sharply disagreed with today’s opinion.

“A Louisville Judge’s decision today to continue halting Kentucky’s Human Life Protection Act and Heartbeat Law is disappointing, and we will seek appellate relief. The Judge’s suggestion that Kentucky’s Constitution contains a right to abortion is not grounded in the text and history of our state’s governing document. We will continue our steadfast defense of these bipartisan laws that represent the Commonwealth’s commitment the life of the unborn.”

The Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturning Roe and Casey came on June 24.  Kentucky’s two abortion providers “were forced to suspend services for seven days until Perry granted a temporary order allowing abortions to resume in response to the legal challenge,” Yetter wrote.

“Lawyers for Planned Parenthood and EMW filed a lawsuit in state court June 28 arguing the state’s constitution allows a right to abortion as a matter of privacy, a strategy abortion rights supporters have pursued in multiple states with laws that have banned or sharply limited abortion access following the Roe decision.”

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