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ACLU and Planned Parenthood Both Sue to Block New Kentucky Abortion Restrictions

ACLU and Planned Parenthood Both Sue to Block New Kentucky Abortion Restrictions

A Planned Parenthood affiliate and a clinic represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed separate lawsuits a day after the Republican-led legislature in Kentucky overrode a veto by the state’s Democratic governor to enact an anti-abortion law.

The lawsuits, by Planned Parenthood and EMW Women’s Surgical Center, argued that by giving them no time to comply, the law violated their due process rights and patients’ privacy rights. The new law forces doctors, clinics, and other healthcare providers to stop offering abortions to patients until they can meet certain requirements, which the ACLU says amounts to an unconstitutional ban on abortions. The law went into effect immediately, which abortion providers say makes it “impossible” to comply with the vast amount of newly imposed requirements and regulations governing abortion that have yet to be written.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

The measure, which also calls for a “combination birth-death or stillbirth certificate” to be issued for each abortion, bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. This gives Kentucky the distinction of being the first U.S. state without legal abortion access since the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade established the right to end a pregnancy before the fetus is viable.


A growing number of Republican-led states this year have been rapidly passing anti-abortion legislation in anticipation that the U.S. Supreme Court will back a 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi this spring. Following new laws in Arizona and Idaho, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy on Thursday, two days after Oklahoma’s governor signed a near-total abortion ban into law, which would take effect this summer.

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Kentucky abortion providers are seeking a temporary restraining order to block enforcement of the law. But they have a rough road ahead of them. State Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a Republican, in a statement said he was “prepared to earnestly defend this new law against the legal challenge from Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.”

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