AG files brief defending Ky. trigger abortion ban, asks court to lift restraining order

Published 2:19 pm Tuesday, July 19, 2022

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By Tessa Redmond

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron filed briefs in defense of the state’s trigger abortion ban and heartbeat law on Monday.

Both laws were blocked in Jefferson Circuit Court late last month while a legal challenge brought by Kentucky’s two abortion providers — EMW Women’s Surgical Center and Planned Parenthood in Louisville — is pending.

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“The Human Life Protection Act and the Heartbeat Law reflect Kentucky’s commitment to protecting unborn life, a commitment that I share and will continue to advocate for by defending these important laws,” said Cameron in a press release on Monday. “Every day that these laws are prohibited from taking effect, elective abortions will continue and more unborn lives will be lost. We’re asking the court to reinstate the laws while the litigation continues.”

Additionally, Cameron asked Judge Mitch Perry to deny a request by EMW and Planned Parenthood to extend a temporary restraining order preventing enforcement of the trigger law. The order, which allowed abortions to resume in the commonwealth six days after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, was originally issued on June 30.

Cameron also filed a motion to dismiss the case on Monday, claiming the state’s abortion providers do not have a constitutional standing for their argument and that Kentucky’s constitution delegates policy decisions, including decisions about abortion, to the General Assembly, which passed the Human Life Protection Act with bipartisan support in 2019.

“These laws prohibit what the General Assembly has determined is the unjustified taking of unborn human life,” Cameron argued in the filing. “So every day that these laws are not enforced is a day in which unborn children of the commonwealth perish.”

When the trigger law was first enjoined by Perry, Cameron asked the Kentucky Court of Appeals and Supreme Court to overrule the order. Both denied Cameron’s motions, allowing abortions to be performed as litigation continues.