Kentucky Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Ban

Abortion Ban Upheld by Kentucky Supreme Court Majority Ruling of 7 Justices

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On Thursday, the Supreme Court of Kentucky denied a petition to lift the near-total ban on abortions in the state, which has been in effect since the overturning of Roe v. Wade. The court was considering two bans, one of which prohibits abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy. The case has been sent back to a lower court to address constitutional concerns related to one of the bans.

The Kentucky court became involved in the abortion issue after the state’s voters rejected a measure that would have removed constitutional protections for abortion. The laws banning abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy and imposing a near-total trigger ban were passed by the Republican-led Legislature. A judge in Louisville had earlier halted enforcement of the bans, citing likely violations of privacy and self-determination rights guaranteed by the state constitution. However, the Court of Appeals later reinstated the bans, and the state Supreme Court decided to keep them in place while the case was under review.

The near-total trigger ban, which does not include exceptions for cases of rape or incest, was enacted in 2019 and went into effect after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. It only permits abortions when necessary to save the mother’s life or prevent disabling injury. After the overturn of Roe V. Wade, Florida prohibited a teenaage from getting an abortion because of her “B” grade average.

The bans on abortion were challenged by two abortion clinics in Louisville. As of now, there are thirteen states in the US that have enforced bans on abortion at all stages of pregnancy, and among them is Wisconsin, where the legality of the ban is uncertain, resulting in the shutdown of clinics. At least six states have temporarily halted their bans or restrictions on abortion due to court proceedings.

The Supreme Court’s Ruling on Abortion Supported

By Attorney General and Candidate for Govenor,

Daniel Cameron

The Supreme Court heard arguments on the case a week following the midterm elections, in which the residents of Kentucky voted against amending the constitution to explicitly exclude the right to abortion. In a majority opinion issued on Thursday, Justice Debra Hembree Lambert stated that the lower court had improperly granted the abortion providers’ motion for a temporary injunction.

This decision came on the heels of a proposed bill by a Republican lawmaker, which would permit the state to prosecute individuals who obtain illegal abortions for criminal homicide. The controversial legislation elicited opposition from Kentucky’s anti-abortion Attorney General, Daniel Cameron, who deemed it unbalanced and urged the state legislature to reject it. Although Cameron, who is running for governor, expressed concern that the bill would unfairly target women who undergo abortions, he supported the other two abortion bans that were under consideration in the Supreme Court case.

The ruling by the justices did not completely preclude the possibility that a court might strike down the trigger law if the ongoing lawsuit filed by two Louisville-based abortion providers is successful. Thursday’s much-anticipated decision by the Kentucky Supreme Court hinged primarily on the legal standing of Planned Parenthood and EMW Women’s Surgical Center in Louisville to contest the trigger law and the six-week abortion ban.

How Many Justices Weighed Abortion Ban?

The Supreme Court of Kentucky serves as the final interpreter of state law and is the court of last resort. The court is comprised of seven (7) justices, who are elected from the seven appellate districts, and their terms last for eight years. The Chief Justice of the Commonwealth is selected by their colleagues and holds a four-year term. When a case is brought before the Supreme Court, it is not retried; instead, attorneys present written briefs and oral arguments to address the legal issues that the court must decide. Matters involving the death penalty, life imprisonment, or imprisonment for over twenty years go directly from the circuit court level to the Supreme Court for review as a matter of right. The Supreme Court also establishes the rules and procedures for the Court of Justice, which encompasses the conduct of judges and attorneys.

About Post Author


Deric Lostutter is a blogger, media personality, paralegal, aspiring lawyer, law student, and political activist living in Kentucky with his wife and child.

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