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ACLU, Planned Parenthood file lawsuit challenging Kentucky abortion bans in state court

They assert the Kentucky constitution protects the right to privacy and bodily autonomy.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The ACLU along with the ACLU of Kentucky and Planned Parenthood of multiple states have announced a lawsuit challenging abortion bans in state court.

The organizations are looking to block an outright abortion ban passed in 2019 and a six-week ban previously blocked by federal court.

They assert the Kentucky constitution protects the right to privacy and bodily autonomy.

“Planned Parenthood isn't new to this fight and today's lawsuit marks the latest step in our ongoing effort to ensure that the people of Kentucky have the health care they need and deserve,” said Rebecca Gibron, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai’i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky. “Last week’s opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court put the health and safety of Kentuckians at risk, as well as the fundamental human right to control one’s own bodily autonomy and medical decisions without political interference. Planned Parenthood will continue, as we always have, to stand for our patients and providers. Now, more than ever.”

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The groups say the abortion ban disproportionately harms people of color, low-income mothers, young people, rural residents, immigrants, the disabled and the LGBTQ+ community.

Planned Parenthood says Black women in the Commonwealth are two times more likely than white women to die during childbirth. If it is banned, they say, pregnancy deaths could increase by 21% and 31% among Black women.

In defending Kentucky's Human Life Protection Act, Attorney General Daniel Cameron sent this statement:

To be clear, there is no right to abortion contained in the Commonwealth’s Constitution—and we will stand up against any baseless claim to the contrary. I have always stood strong in defense of life, and I will continue to advocate for our laws, which protect pregnant women and unborn babies. 

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs definitively stated that each state is the authority on protecting unborn life, and our General Assembly’s passage of the Human Life Protection Act made it clear that most abortions are now illegal.

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