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Ky. Supreme Court denies Daniel Cameron’s emergency request to enforce abortion bans

041922_ABORTION_EMW Women's Surgical Center_by J. Tyler Franklin_4
EMW Women's Surgical center in downtown Louisville is one of only two abortion providers in the state of Kentucky.

Two days after he made the request, the Supreme Court of Kentucky denied an emergency motion by Attorney General Daniel Cameron to reinstate two statewide abortion bans.

In a brief order, Chief Justice John Minton wrote Cameron’s request was denied, but that the action did not express an opinion on “substantive issues in this matter.”

Almost all abortions were banned in Kentucky on June 24, after the United States Supreme Court removed federal constitutional protections for abortion access. A Jefferson County judge later issued a restraining order allowing abortion services to resume in response to a lawsuit brought by the state’s only two abortion providers last week.

Lawyers for the providers argue access to abortion is protected by Kentucky’s constitution. A proposed constitutional amendment that will be on the ballot this November says the opposite.

The next hearing in that case is scheduled to take place Wednesday morning. Attorneys for the plaintiffs will argue for a temporary injunction that, if granted, would allow abortions for the duration of the case.

Samuel Crankshaw of the ACLU of Kentucky, which is representing the EMW Women’s Surgical Center located in downtown Louisville, in a statement called Tuesday’s order a victory that is "temporary but important." He pointed out Cameron has lost two challenges to the restraining order.

"The Kentucky Supreme Court has now denied his second attempt to block an emergency order protecting Kentuckians’ rights to privacy, bodily autonomy, and self-determination, as outlined in the state constitution," Crankshaw said.

In a statement, Cameron said he was "disappointed."

"We’ve now asked all three levels of Kentucky’s judiciary to allow these laws to take effect. Not a single judge at any level has suggested these laws are unconstitutional, yet we are unfortunately still prohibited from enforcing them," he said.

This story has been updated to include comments from Samuel Crankshaw and Daniel Cameron.

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Amina Elahi is LPM's City Editor. Email Amina at aelahi@lpm.org.