U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, ending access to abortions in Kentucky

Published 5:09 pm Friday, June 24, 2022

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday overturned Roe v. Wade, bringing to an immediate end access to abortions in Kentucky.

The Kentucky General Assembly in 2019 passed a trigger law that requires the state to immediately stop abortion services if the Supreme Court strikes down Roe v. Wade.

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Kentucky’s only full-time abortion clinic is the EMW Women’s surgical Center in Louisville. Women seeking an abortion will have to go to another state. Which states will continue to allow abortions is unclear right now. Of the seven states that border Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri also have trigger laws prohibiting abortion.

The ACLU of Kentucky has promised to continue to fight on behalf of women throughout the state.

“Whatever shifting barriers anti-abortion judges and politicians put before us, we will never stop fighting for people’s ability to make their own reproduction health care decisions, including whether and when to become parents,” Heather Gatnarek, ACLU of Kentucky staff attorney said on the ACLU of Kentucky website. “No one should have the decision to remain pregnant forced upon them, which is what anti-abortion politicians seek to do.”

The Guttmacher Institute, a political action group that focuses on sexual and reproductive health and rights, predicts abortions eventually will be banned in as many as 26 states, including all of the states that adjoin Kentucky except Illinois and possibly Virginia.

The decision was met with praise and angst from parties on both sides.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron told Kentucky Today he has advocated for a reversal of Roe v. Wade for a long time.

“Today is a day that many have hoped for – the issue of abortion has been returned to the people and to the states, where it belongs,” Cameron told Kentucky Today. “The moment deserves to be celebrated, but it also calls for renewed commitment. Renewed commitment to life-affirming care for the unborn, for mothers and for Kentucky families.”

Gov. Andy Beshear also weighed in on the decision.

“Today’s decision triggers an extremist Kentucky law that creates a total ban in Kentucky that will eliminate all options for victims of rape or incest,” Beshear said. “As for the former chief prosecutor of Kentucky, I know that these violent crimes happen, and not having options for victims of rape and incest is wrong.”