Federal judge's order clears the way for abortions to resume in Kentucky, according to clinic attorney
With Kentucky’s new wide-reaching abortion law now put on hold by a federal judge, an attorney representing one of the state’s two remaining abortion providers says the clinics can begin offering the procedure again. But the ruling merely puts providers in a holding pattern while the matter is litigated.
Kentucky’s abortion providers had paused abortions, fearing their inability to meet the law’s many new requirements immediately could put them in legal jeopardy — an argument Attorney General Daniel Cameron had dismissed.
Protests followed, including one on Thursday outside Louisville’s Metro Hall, which in turn attracted counter protesters.
Woman- hating fascists on #Scotus are about to take away abortion rights w/in weeks, if YOU do not act to STOP it, you are in fact going along with it. What side are you on? #Green4Abortion#RiseUp4AbortionRights with us. We can & must win ABORTION ON DEMAND & WITHOUT APOLOGY! pic.twitter.com/ZEtaUhuxHF— Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights (@riseup4abortion) April 22, 2022
While abortion rights backers applauded the decision to halt enforcement, they noted the ruling is just temporary and does not touch on the constitutionality of the law. For now, however, activists see it as a win.
"Abortion remains legal and is once again available in Kentucky," Heather Gatnarek, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, told the Courier Journal. "We will always fight to keep it that way here and across the country."
Meanwhile, anti-abortion rights advocates blamed the an overreaching court system.
“This activist ruling is about putting pro-abortion politics above the law,” said David Walls, Executive Director of The Family Foundation. “By refusing to comply with HB 3’s commonsense protections and immediately running to court, abortion advocates have once again revealed they do not really care about women and only desire to further profit off the slaughter of babies in the womb."
The Kentucky court battle emerges as a larger question looms at the federal level.
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule this summer on a 15-week abortion ban out of Mississippi, one that Kentucky lawmakers have also entered into the books in the hopes a favorable high court ruling could prevent a court fight over the same language.