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Tipsheet

Kentucky Abortion Ban Can Take Effect After All, Appeals Court Rules

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

On Monday, an appeals court in Kentucky allowed pro-life legislation to go into effect there, banning most abortions, the commonwealth's Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) tweeted out that evening. 

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Cameron also tweeted out the judge's order, which came from Kentucky Court of Appeals Judge Larry E. Thompson.

Mainstream media outlets and pro-abortion organizations have lamented that allowing the Human Life Protection Act and the Heartbeat Law to go into effect amounts to a near total ban on abortion. The text of the Human Life Protection Act makes clear, though, that there are exceptions for "a medical procedure necessary in reasonable medical judgment to prevent the death or substantial risk of death due to a physical condition, or to prevent the serious, permanent impairment of a life-sustaining organ of a pregnant woman." Further, the pregnant woman will not face charges if she has an abortion. 

This ruling comes after several back-and-forths through the courts, as the law was previously struck down, even after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade with its Dobbs v. Jackson decision. That decision, officially handed down June 24, enabled states to decide their own abortion laws. 

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On June 30, shortly after the Dobbs decision was handed down, Jefferson Circuit Judge Mitch Perry granted a request from the commonwealth's two abortion facilities, Planned Parenthood and EMW Women's Surgical Center, the latter which is represented by the ACLU, to temporarily block what was meant as a trigger law. 

Then, on July 22, Judge Perry again halted the law, bizarrely ruling against the law on the basis of religion, even though there are secular and atheist pro-life individuals and organizations, such as Secular Pro-Life.

As Catholic News Agency highlighted from Judge Perry's opinion at the time of the ruling:

A circuit judge in Kentucky has again blocked a pair of state abortion bans from taking effect — in part, he said, because they adopt “a distinctly Christian and Catholic belief” about when life begins.

“The laws at issue here adopt the view embraced by some, but not all, religious traditions, that life begins at the moment of conception,” Judge Mitch Perry of the Jefferson County Circuit Court wrote in an opinion issued Friday.

“The General Assembly is not permitted to single out and endorse the doctrine of a favored faith for preferred treatment. By taking this approach, the bans fail to account for the diverse religious views of many Kentuckians whose faith leads them to take very different views of when life begins,” he said.

“There is nothing in our laws or history that allows for such theocratic based policymaking,” he added.

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Monday's ruling isn't the end of the line, either, as the Kentucky Supreme Court will next hear the case.

For now, though, those facilities will be forced to shut their doors, much to the celebration of the pro-life movement and consternation of the pro-abortion movement. 

Planned Parenthood appears to be directing women seeking abortions to do so out of state. 

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Cameron has made the pro-life issue a major focus of his time as attorney general. He is running for governor to challenge Gov. Andy Beshear, a pro-abortion Democrat, next November. He has already been endorsed by Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America. 

Kentuckians will vote in November on a ballot initiative as to whether or not the state constitution protects abortion.

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