LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A federal judge on Thursday temporarily blocked a state law that effectively eliminated abortions in Kentucky after the state’s two remaining clinics said they couldn’t respond to its requirements.
The two Louisville clinics went to court immediately after the law took effect, asking that the measure be suspended until the case is heard. Thursday’s decision was a victory for abortion rights advocates and a setback for the Republican-led legislature, which passed the law in March and then overruled Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto on the measure. last week.
The measure prohibits abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy and requires women to be examined by a doctor before receiving abortion pills. It also contains new reporting requirements that Kentucky clinics said they could not immediately comply with. Failure to comply can result in heavy fines and criminal penalties.
Proponents of the law say the goal is to protect women’s health and strengthen oversight. Opponents of the law say the goal has always been to stop abortions altogether.
Kentucky is among the GOP-led states that have passed restrictive abortion laws in anticipation of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that could overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade who established nationwide abortion rights nearly 50 years ago.
Pending in the High Court is a challenge to a law passed in a fifth state, Mississippi, which bans abortion after 15 weeks. The court indicated it would allow Mississippi’s ban to stand, and conservative justices suggested they support Roe’s overturning.