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Kentucky judge allows abortions to resume, for now

A judge in Louisville issued a temporary restraining order against the state’s new near-total ban on abortions.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (CN) — A Kentucky judge on Thursday granted a request by the ACLU to temporarily halt enforcement of the state’s abortion ban that went into effect after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade last week.

The two laws making up the ban were originally passed in 2019 and almost completely outlaw abortion in Kentucky, with the exception of situations where it is needed to protect the life of the pregnant person. The laws provide no exception in cases of rape or incest.

The ACLU asked the Jefferson County Circuit Court for a temporarily restraining order after the ban went into effect, a request which Judge Mitch Perry granted on Thursday.

“It is ordered that the Plaintiffs have established their right to entry of a Restraining Order against Defendants, and therefore the motion is Granted,” his brief order states.

The court’s ruling stops the abortion ban from being enforced for now, and the case will proceed to a July 6 hearing where the ACLU will ask the court for a preliminary injunction to continue to block the laws during the related ongoing litigation.

The ACLU’s lawsuit was filed on Monday on behalf of two Kentucky abortion clinics and a physician. They argue that the two laws violate abortion patients’ rights to “privacy and self-determination.”

A joint statement Planned Parenthood and the ACLU applauded Perry's restraining order.

“Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe last Friday, numerous Kentuckians have been forced to carry pregnancies against their will or flee their home state in search of essential care," they said. "Despite this victory, we know this fight is far from over — especially with politicians like Attorney General Daniel Cameron doing everything they can to score political points at the expense of Kentuckians’ wellbeing. We won’t stop fighting for people’s ability to access the essential abortion care they need in Kentucky."

Cameron, who is a defendant in the ACLU’s lawsuit, responded in his own statement that said the judge’s ruling lacked a constitutional basis.

“In the wake of an historic victory for life at the nation’s highest court, today, one judge in Kentucky has, without basis in the Kentucky Constitution, allowed two clinics to resume abortions," the Republican attorney general said. "We cannot let the same mistake that happened in Roe v. Wade, nearly 50 years ago, to be made again in Kentucky. We will be seeking relief from this order."

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