Kentucky judge extends block of state’s abortion ban

Headline Legal News

A Kentucky judge granted an injunction on Friday that prevents the state’s near-total ban on abortions from taking effect, meaning the state’s two clinics can continue providing abortions, for now.

Jefferson Circuit Judge Mitch Perry’s ruling says there is “a substantial likelihood” that Kentucky’s new abortion law violates “the rights to privacy and self-determination” protected by Kentucky’s constitution.

The injunction issued in Louisville allows the state’s only two clinics to continue providing abortions while the case is litigated.

Kentucky’s trigger law was meant to ban abortions as soon as the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, but Perry issued a restraining order in June blocking the ban. His ruling means that of the 13 states with trigger bans, five are in effect.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a Republican running for governor, said he was disappointed by the ruling and will appeal it to the state appeals court.

Kentucky’s trigger law contains a narrow exception allowing a physician to perform an abortion if necessary to prevent the death or permanent injury of the pregnant woman. Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat, has denounced that law as “extremist,” noting it lacks exceptions for rape and incest.

Thirteen states created trigger bans, and of those, at least five are currently in effect: Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and South Dakota. Five are not due to take effect yet: Idaho, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming. The remaining three — in Kentucky, Louisiana and Utah — are not in effect because of litigation.

In all, about half the U.S. states are likely to have bans or deep restrictions in place as a result of the Supreme Court ruling.

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