Federal judge issues preliminary injunction extending block on Ky. abortion bill
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A U.S. District Court judge has filed a preliminary injunction continuing a block on a Kentucky law effectively eliminating abortions in the commonwealth.
The block on Kentucky House Bill 3 was issued by a federal judge in April after the two clinics in Kentucky said they couldn’t meet the requirements of the bill.
Clinics filed a lawsuit stating the requirements were so tough that it would practically end all abortions in the state.
House Bill 3 bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy and requires women to be examined by a doctor before receiving abortion pills. Clinics would also be fined and penalized for noncompliance of the new requirements.
The block was extended in May for two weeks after hearing arguments from both Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.
On Thursday, Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings ordered state officials were preliminarily enjoined from enforcing, attempting or threatening to enforce compliance with certain provisions of HB3 “until the Cabinet creates a means for compliance.”
The order permits only a small number of provisions within HB3 that abortion providers can comply with to take effect.
Thursday’s ruling comes almost one month since the initial case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky.
“We are grateful the court recognized the constitutional infirmities with HB3 and granted a preliminary injunction,” Heather Gatnarek, staff attorney of ACLU of Kentucky said in a release. “With the court’s order, EMW Women’s Surgical Center can continue to provide abortions to people in Kentucky as they have done for decades. Patients seeking abortions should reach out directly to EMW or Planned Parenthood to get their questions answered and schedule their care. Abortion remains legal and available in Kentucky and we will always fight to keep it that way.”
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