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Ky. Attorney General asks state Supreme Court to halt abortions amid lawsuit

070122_Anti abortion activists-EMW Louisville
Anti-abortion activist Ed Harpringer passes out literature for a crisis pregnancy center outside one of two remaining abortion clinics in Kentucky on July 1, 2022.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has asked the state’s Supreme Court to lift a restraining order that allows abortions to resume temporarily amid an ongoing lawsuit. 

Kentucky's only two abortion providers are suing the state for banning the procedure. Attorneys for Planned Parenthood and the EMW Women’s Surgical Center say that Kentucky’s two bans on abortion are illegal under the state’s constitution, because they threaten people’s lives.

Cameron urged Kentucky’s highest court to reinstate the bans on abortion on Sunday, saying there is no more important issue than protecting human life. 

“We are exhausting every possible avenue to have Kentucky’s Human Life Protection Act and Heartbeat Law reinstated,” Cameron said. 

The Kentucky Human Life Protection Act is what’s known as a “trigger law” that took effect after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The law bans abortions in every case, including rape and incest, unless a pregnant person is at “substantial risk of death.”  

The other law bans abortions after physicians can detect embryonic cardiac activity, which usually occurs around six weeks, before many people learn they are pregnant.    

Cameron’s filing with the Kentucky Supreme Court followed a Saturday ruling from an appellate court judge that allowed abortions to continue, at least temporarily

Planned Parenthood and EMW Women’s Surgical Center, both in Louisville, resumed appointments for the procedure as of Friday.

A hearing is scheduled next week in Jefferson County Circuit Court to decide whether to block enforcement of the bans for the duration of the case.

Ryan Van Velzer is WFPL's Energy and Environment Reporter. Email Ryan at rvanvelzer@lpm.org.