LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky woman filed a class-action lawsuit challenging two Kentucky abortion bans.
The suit, filed in a state court in Louisville, claims Kentucky’s near-total ban on abortion violates the rights to privacy and self-determination.
What You Need To Know
- A pregnant woman in Kentucky has filed a lawsuit demanding the right to an abortion
- The suit, filed in state court in Louisville, says Kentucky’s near-total prohibition against abortion violates the plaintiff’s rights to privacy and self-determination under the state constitution
- The plaintiff, identified as Jane Doe, is about eight weeks pregnant and is seeking class-action status to include other Kentuckians who are or will become pregnant and want to have an abortion
The pregnant woman, identified as Jane Doe, is eight weeks pregnant and wants to end her pregnancy but can’t do so legally because of the state’s abortion laws. She is seeking class-action status to inclue other Kentuckians who are or will be come pregnant and want to have an abortion.
“This is my decision — not the government’s or any other person’s,” the plaintiff said in a news release Friday issued by the American Civil Liberties Union, one of the groups backing her challenge. “I am bringing this lawsuit because I firmly believe that everyone should have the ability to make their own decisions about their pregnancies.”
Spectrum News 1 reached out to Attorney General Daniel Cameron, R-Ky., and his office said, “The Attorney General’s office is reviewing the complaint.”
Addia Wuchner, executive director for Kentucky Right to Life said they are reviewing the lawsuit and “We have always supported and will continue to support the dignity and value of all life, particularly the humanity and the protection of all unborn children.”
Kentucky’s abortions bans went into effect after the U.S. Supreme Court reverse Roe v. Wade and abortions remain illegal today.
In June, abortion providers dropped an earlier lawsuit challenging the bans after the Kentucky Supreme court said it did not have the right to challenge the bans on behalf of the patients.
In Kentucky in February, the state Supreme Court refused to halt the state’s near-total abortion ban and another outlawing abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy. The justices focused on narrow legal issues but didn’t resolve larger constitutional questions about whether access to abortion should be legal in the Bluegrass State.
The ACLU, Planned Parenthood and other activists launched a new assault against those bans in the suit filed Friday in Jefferson County Circuit Court in Louisville.
“These bans have harmed countless Kentuckians since going into effect last year, and we are relieved to be back in court to try to restore abortion access in Kentucky,” Brigitte Amiri, deputy director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, said in the news release.
The lawsuit says Kentucky woman are suffering “medical, constitutional and irreparable harm” by being denied the right to obtain an abortion.
“Abortion is a critical component of reproductive health care and crucial to the ability of Kentuckians to control their lives,” the suit says.
“Whether to take on the health risks and responsibilities of pregnancy and parenting is a personal and consequential decision that must be left to the individual to determine for herself without governmental interference,” it added.
Kentucky voters last year rejected a ballot measure that would have denied any constitutional protections for abortion, but abortion rights supporters have made no inroads in the Legislature in chipping away at the state’s anti-abortion laws.
The legal challenge revolves around Kentucky’s near-total trigger law ban and a separate six-week ban — both passed by the state’s GOP-dominated Legislature. The trigger law was passed in 2019 and took effect when Roe v. Wade was overturned. It bans abortions except when they’re carried out to save the life of the patient or to prevent disabling injury. It does not include exceptions for cases of rape or incest.
The Associated Press contributed to this story