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Judge denies Kentucky Attorney General's request to resume enforcement of abortion ban

062422_Abortion Rally_Federal Courthouse_protesters
Protesters at an abortion rights rally in downtown Louisville following the U.S. Supreme Court decision that undercut abortion rights across the country.

An appellate court has denied Republican Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s request to stay a restraining order that blocked two abortion bans from being enforced in the state. 

Cameron filed the appeal on Thursday, after Jefferson County Circuit Judge Mitch Perry issued the restraining order.

"We are disappointed with the ruling from the Court of Appeals," Cameron said on Twitter after the decision. "The ruling continues to prevent Kentucky's Human Life Protection Act and heartbeat law from taking effect. We intend to bring this matter to the Supreme Court of Kentucky."

Alawsuit filed by the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, which are representing the state’s only two abortion providers, argued that Kentucky’s constitution allows abortions.

In their response to Cameron’s appeal, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU said the appellate court “lacks jurisdiction” to hear Cameron’s request.

"The state constitution protects Kentuckians' rights to privacy, bodily autonomy, and self-determination," ACLU of Kentucky spokesperson Samuel Crankshaw said in a statement. "We'll continue arguing this in court to preserve Kentuckians' essential right to healthcare. This win is temporary, but we won't back down in the fight to defend Kentuckians' most basic rights from extremist politicians like Daniel Cameron."

The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on June 24 removed federal protections for abortion access that were established in Roe v. Wade, halting abortions in the commonwealth.

Kentucky was one of many states with "trigger laws" in place that banned nearly all abortions as soon as the federal protections were removed.

With Cameron’s motion denied and the restraining order still in place, abortions remain legal in Kentucky. Planned Parenthood and EMW Women's Surgical Center, both located in Louisville, resumed appointments on Friday.

A hearing is scheduled next week for the court to decide on a temporary injunction. If granted, it would block enforcement of the bans for the duration of this case.

This story has been updated.

Breya Jones is the Arts & Culture Reporter for LPM. Email Breya at bjones@lpm.org.