After state lawmakers approve a series of onerous restrictions on abortion providers and patients, Kentucky’s two remaining clinics will be forced to stop performing the procedure, ending abortions in the state. State.
Kentucky’s sweeping anti-abortion legislation — which went into effect immediately after the state’s Republican-controlled legislature voted to override Governor Andy Beshear’s veto — bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, mirroring a law of Mississippi at the center of the U.S. Supreme Court case that could upend decades of precedent establishing constitutional protections for abortion care.
House Bill 3 will “completely and immediately eliminate access to abortion in Kentucky by piling up a long list of unnecessary abortion restrictions that providers cannot comply with,” according to the ACLU of Kentucky.
The law also restricts minors’ access to the procedure and aims to eliminate medical abortion, which accounts for about half of all abortions in the state. The law also makes no exception for cases of rape or incest.
“The Kentucky Legislature has been emboldened by a similar 15-week ban pending before the Supreme Court and other states passing abortion bans, including Florida and Oklahoma, but this law and others like it remain. unconstitutional,” said Brigitte Amiri, deputy director of the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project.
The organization intends to file two lawsuits in the U.S. District Court on behalf of the state’s two clinics, Planned Parenthood and EMW Women’s Surgical Center, arguing that the law establishes an unconstitutional de facto ban on abortions in the State with an “impossible” list of restrictions. .
A statement from Planned Parenthood said the state legislature’s “sole purpose” with the legislation “is to close health centers and completely eliminate access to abortion in the state.”
“We are confident that the courts will stop this cruel and unconstitutional omnibus,” the organization said. “Everyone deserves to make their own decisions about their body, their life and their future.”
The law also requires that abortion patients file “birth-death certificates” and that doctors report each procedure to the state, along with the method of the procedure and extensive biographical details about each patient and their sexual partner.
It also prohibits telemedicine appointments allowing patients to access medical abortion, and doctors must have registered hospital admission privileges with the state before they can administer the drugs, usually a combination of FDA-approved drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol.
These drugs cannot be given to a patient without obtaining their “informed consent” at least 24 hours earlier, a process that involves patients signing a government document with the unsubstantiated acknowledgment that it “may be possible to reverse the effects of the abortion-inducing drug if desired, but that it should be done as soon as possible. Such claims have been rejected by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as “not based on science” and do not “meet clinical standards”.
Local hospitals can also deny abortion providers to hold admitting privileges at their facilities, making it impossible for patients in many parts of the state to even seek such care. The Supreme Court has already struck down similar measures in Louisiana and Texas.
“Make no mistake: The Kentucky Legislature’s sole purpose with this law is to shut down health centers and completely eliminate access to abortion in the state,” said the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. and Planned Parenthood Great Northwest in a statement.
The law also makes it a crime for a doctor to perform an abortion on a minor patient, unless he has the written consent of a parent or legal guardian, even in cases of incest.
The overturning of Kentucky’s veto follows Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt’s signing of legislation to make the practice of abortion illegal in the state, with providers facing charges of felony up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $100,000.
Governor Stitt is also expected to sign other bills effectively banning all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and prohibiting doctors from performing or inducing an abortion at any time except to “save the life” of the woman. pregnant person. These would take effect immediately once signed.
The legislation joins a wave of anti-abortion bills from Republican state lawmakers across the United States, emboldened by the U.S. Supreme Court’s early ruling in a Mississippi case that could determine the fate of child protections. health care for women if the decades-old precedent of the decision to Roe vs. Wade is overturned.
More than 500 abortion restrictions have been proposed in state legislatures in 2022, according to Planned Parenthood.
If the Supreme Court were to reject the precedent of historic deer decision, more than two dozen states have already put in place so-called “trigger bans” and other abortion restrictions that would immediately ban abortion care.