Kentucky Supreme Court bans abortion

The Kentucky Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the state’s abortion restrictions.

In August, the state enacted two abortion laws, which included a ban on most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

The second law, a trigger ban, contains an exception “to prevent death or substantial risk of death due to a physical condition or to prevent serious, permanent impairment of a pregnant woman’s life-sustaining organs.” However, the physician is obligated to “make reasonable medical efforts under the circumstances to preserve both the life of the mother and the life of the unborn in a manner consistent with reasonable medical practice.[.]”

It has a second exception if the treatment provided by a licensed physician results in “accidental or unintentional injury or death of an innocent person.”

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Two abortion clinics in the state, Planned Parenthood and EMW Women’s Surgical Center, were forced to stop providing the procedure after the law was passed.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit challenging the restrictions, leading to arguments before the state Supreme Court in November.

That same month, state voters rejected a state constitutional amendment that would have added a sentence to the state constitution stating that “[t]o protect human life, nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to protect or preserve the right to abortion or to require the financing of abortion.”

In Thursday’s decision, the Supreme Court ruled that “we hold that abortion providers do not have third-party standing to challenge the law on behalf of their patients. Nevertheless, abortion providers do have first-party, constitutional standing to challenge a law on their own behalf. We appeal to the Court of Appeals.” affirming the holding that the circuit court abused its discretion in granting the abortion providers’ motion for a temporary injunction and remanding to the circuit court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”

“Applying well-established Kentucky precedent compels dismissal of the complaint without considering the merits of the temporary injunction or the underlying constitutional challenge. As appellants have failed to establish first-party or third-party standing for each of their claims, the entire suit should be dismissed without prejudice,” the judgment added.