On April 13, 2022, the Kentucky Legislature overrode Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto and passed H.B.3, an anti-abortion omnibus law with an immediate effective date designed to effectively ban abortion in the state.
The ACLU and Planned Parenthood both immediately challenged this slew of abortion restrictions, which included a 15-week abortion ban. The lawsuits argue that the law would create unnecessary abortion requirements while simultaneously making those requirements impossible to comply with given the immediate effective date of the law, forcing providers in the state to stop offering abortion services. Because the law is impossible to comply with, it amounts to a de facto abortion ban, thus violating patients’ federal right to abortion under Roe v. Wade. On April 21, 2022, Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings of the District Court for the Western District of Kentucky temporarily blocked H.B.3 in its entirety, including all regulations and the blanket ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, while the case proceeds.
The ACLU and the ACLU of Kentucky represent Intervenor Plaintiffs EMW Women’s Surgical Center, P.S.C., on behalf of itself, its staff, and its patients and Ernest W. Marshall, M.D., on behalf of himself and his patients. Plaintiffs Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawaii, Alaska, Indiana, and Kentucky, Inc., on behalf of itself, its staff, and its patients are represented by Planned Parenthood Foundation of America, Crowell & Moring LLP, and Kaplan Johnson Abate & Bird LLP.