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AG Cameron appeals judge's decision to temporarily block Kentucky's trigger law banning abortion

Abortion-rights groups argued that the ban violates the rights to privacy, bodily autonomy and self-determination outlined in the Kentucky Constitution.

KENTUCKY, USA — Hours after a judge ruled to temporarily allow abortions can resume in Kentucky, the commonwealth's top prosecutor filed an appeal asking a higher court to review the decision. 

After the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade last week, a trigger law took effect in Kentucky banning abortion in all cases except when the mother's life is at risk.

Thursday morning, Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Mitch Perry granted the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky and Planned Parenthood's request for a restraining order on two laws passed in 2019. 

The order blocked a trigger law that went into effect immediately following the Supreme Court's decision banning all abortions in the state, which Attorney General Daniel Cameron said he planned to enforce. It also blocks a six-week ban.

Thursday evening, Cameron asked the Kentucky Court of Appeals to review Judge Perry's decision. 

“Every day that goes by that the Human Life Protection Act and Heartbeat Law are prevented from taking effect, more unborn lives will be lost,” Cameron, R-Kentucky, said in a statement. “These laws represent Kentucky’s values and its support for life. We’re moving quickly to defend this important law and to have it restored.”

After Judge Perry's order came down, Planned Parenthood in Louisville started scheduling abortions again. EMW Women's Surgical Center said they'll be ready to resume abortion care Friday morning. 

The abortion-rights groups' lawsuit argued that the bans violate the rights to privacy, bodily autonomy and self-determination outlined in sections one and two of the Kentucky Constitution.

"Today's temporary restraining order is a victory, even if temporary because it restores the ability for Kentuckians to access safe, legal abortion,” said Tamarra Wieder, Kentucky state director at Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates.

"It's a really important victory for us to get this restraining order,” ACLU of Kentucky Interim Executive Director Amber Duke said. “In granting it, the court is saying that they believe our case has a good likelihood of success."

In an emailed statement following Perry's order, Cameron said the Supreme Court's decision "made it abundantly clear" that abortion should be decided by the states and the people's representatives.

"Our General Assembly clearly expressed Kentucky's support for life by passing the Human Life Protection Act with bipartisan support," he said. "We will do everything possible to continue defending this law and to ensure that unborn life is protected in the Commonwealth."

According to the ACLU of Kentucky, a hearing on the organization's request for a temporary injunction to block the laws during the litigation has been scheduled for July 6.

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