A federal judge in Kentucky has extended a temporary ban on a new state law that restricts abortion to the first 15 weeks of pregnancy and requires that a woman be examined by a doctor before receiving the abortion pill, in addition to other restrictions. The judge extended the ban because the state’s two abortion businesses said they are unable to fully comply with the law, according to PBS.
Governor Andy Beshear vetoed the law but legislators overrode that veto in April. U.S. District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings then temporarily blocked the law until this week, in response to a legal challenge from Planned Parenthood and the EMW Women’s Surgical Center. Following a hearing on Monday, Jennings has now extended the injunction until May 19 so that the two abortion businesses have more time to explain why they believe the law should not go into effect.
“The burden is on them,” said Addia Wuchner, the executive director of Kentucky Right to Life, “The burden, she says, is now on you to come back with what you still find is unacceptable in this bill that you do not think you can be in compliance with.”
We are disappointed that the court chose to temporarily halt enforcement of HB 3. This law is constitutional, and we look forward to continuing to defend it.https://t.co/aLlSJ8wZYi
— Attorney General Daniel Cameron (@kyoag) April 21, 2022
Despite extending the injunction, Jennings admitted that “there are pieces of this legislation that can be complied with right now.” The provisions of the law include:
- A restriction on abortions after 15 weeks
- An end to telemedicine abortions (abortion pill distribution without an in-person visit)
- A requirement that physicians who distribute the abortion pill must be specially certified
- The creation of a state-run “complaint portal” for people to report suspected violations
- Updated abortion reporting requirements
- Updated parental consent guidelines for minors who want an abortion
- Restrictions to ensure there is no taxpayer funding of abortion
- Guidelines for the dignified disposal of fetal remains
Attorneys for the abortionists argue the law is too complicated. “We are hopeful the judge will take into consideration the arguments made today and prevent the state from enforcing these impossible requirements on abortion providers in the state of Kentucky,” said Julie Murray, Planned Parenthood attorney.
“We are disappointed that the court chose to temporarily halt enforcement of HB 3, said Attorney General Daniel Cameron. “This law is constitutional, and we look forward to continuing to defend it.”
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