A Kentucky judge has extended an order blocking the state’s near-total abortion ban from going into effect, ruling that the law violates rights protected by Kentucky’s constitution.
In his ruling Friday, Jefferson Circuit Judge Mitch Perry decided there was a “substantial likelihood” that Kentucky’s abortion ban violates its citizens’ rights to “privacy and self-determination,” and ruled that the ban should remain blocked until the dispute is officially resolved at trial.
The judge also claimed that “the fundamental right for a woman to control her own body free from government interference” should take precedence over the state’s interest in protecting the unborn, and that abortion is nothing more than a “form of health care.”
“Plaintiffs assert and this court agrees, that abortion is a form of health care,” Perry ruled. “It is provided by licensed medical professionals in licensed medical facilities, just like many other medical procedures.”
Kentucky was one of 13 states to codify a so-called “trigger law” banning abortion, which was designed to go into effect following the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade. While the ban awaits further litigation, abortion will remain legal in Kentucky, which currently has only two abortion clinics.
In a statement, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who has fought to implement the ban in the state, disputed the ruling, arguing that a right to abortion can’t be found in the state’s constitution.
“The judge’s suggestion that Kentucky’s constitution contains a right to abortion is not grounded in the text and history of our state’s governing document,” Cameron said. “We will continue our steadfast defense of these bipartisan laws that represent the commonwealth’s commitment to the lives of the unborn.”
A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood, meanwhile, praised the ruling and claimed Cameron’s efforts to enforce the abortion ban “would have devastating consequences” for the state.
“Once again, the courts have rightly stopped Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s relentless efforts to ban abortion, which would have devastating consequences for Kentuckians,” the statement said. “Kentuckians have a right to abortion under the state constitution and we’ll continue fighting for that right so that every person in the commonwealth can get the care they need.”