Ky. Attorney General Cameron to defend abortion law before U.S. Supreme Court

Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 6:10 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron wants to defend an abortion law passed in 2018 that was struck down by an appeals court. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments from his office next week.

The hearing isn’t about that abortion law directly, it’s about whether the attorney general’s office should be allowed to defend that law.

House Bill 454 was passed by Kentucky’s Republican-led legislature in 2018. It would ban a procedure known as dilation and evacuation, which normally happens after the 15th week of pregnancy.

“With that bill, the legislature declared that unborn children have the right to be treated with dignity and respect,” Cameron said.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit that led an appeals court to strike down the law, and Governor Beshear’s office declined to take the case any further.

But the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to consider letting Cameron’s office file an appeal.

”The arguments next week and the only question that the Supreme Court is considering is just whether the attorney General should’ve been allowed to intervene at the Sixth Circuit after we’d already won that panel decision,” said Heather Gatnarek with ACLU of Kentucky.

Pro-life advocates were with Cameron Wednesday as he called the procedure fetal dismemberment. If they are successful, they could file another appeal.

“If we get a favorable ruling, which I’m optimistic that we will, that gives us then in turn the ability to go back to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Continue advocating on behalf of House Bill 454,” Cameron said.

“The law goes into effect in Kentucky, D and E abortions, which are pretty much all abortion procedures after about 15 weeks of pregnancy, would be banned. And then Kentuckians who need that care would be forced to travel out of state,” Gatnarek said.

Abortion is banned in Kentucky after the 20th week of pregnancy, although there is an exception for medical emergencies.

The hearing in front of the Supreme Court is scheduled to take place next Tuesday, Oct. 12.

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