Federal Court Extends Block on Unconstitutional Abortion Restrictions in Kentucky

Affiliate: ACLU of Kentucky
May 19, 2022 4:00 pm

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Today, the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky granted a request from abortion providers for a preliminary injunction against key portions of H.B. 3, an anti-abortion omnibus law in Kentucky that would have immediately eliminated all abortion in the state absent court relief. The court’s order largely extends the effects of a temporary restraining order already extended in May, permitting only a small number of provisions that abortion providers can comply with to take effect. As a result of the court’s ruling, state officials cannot enforce H.B. 3‘s key provisions until the state adopts rules and regulations that abortion providers need to comply.

Today’s ruling comes approximately one month after Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union filed challenges to the law. The law became effective immediately following the Kentucky General Assembly’s vote to override the governor’s veto. H.B. 3 had forced the shuttering of abortion services in Kentucky for nearly a week until the court issued a temporary restraining order.

Statement from Heather Gatnarek, staff attorney, ACLU of Kentucky:

“We are grateful the court recognized the constitutional infirmities with HB 3 and granted a preliminary injunction. With the court’s order, EMW Women’s Surgical Center can continue to provide abortions to people in Kentucky as they have done for decades. Patients seeking abortions should reach out directly to EMW or Planned Parenthood to get their questions answered and schedule their care. Abortion remains legal and available in Kentucky and we will always fight to keep it that way.”

Statement from Rebecca Gibron, CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai’i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky:

“Kentuckians can breathe a sigh of relief that these extreme restrictions will remain blocked and abortion will remain accessible for now. For nearly a week, we were blocked from providing this critical and time-sensitive health care. We can’t go back. Planned Parenthood will work day by day to safeguard the ability of our patients to access essential health care, no matter what.”

The case is Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawaii, Alaska, Indiana & Kentucky v. Daniel Cameron. Planned Parenthood in Louisville is represented in the matter by lawyers from Crowell & Moring LLP; Planned Parenthood Federation of America; and Kaplan, Johnson, Abate & Bird. EMW Women’s Surgical Center is represented by the ACLU of Kentucky, the ACLU, and Craig Henry PLC.

The decision is here: https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/planned-parenthood-great-nw-hawaii-a…

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