Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron Fights for Abortion Ban at Appeals Court

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 29, 2022   |   10:20AM   |   Washington, DC

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is doing everything possible to ensure unborn babies are protected in Kentucky and is fighting for the state’s abortion ban at the Kentucky Court of Appeals.

A Kentucky judge has temporarily blocked the state’s abortion ban that went into effect following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Hours after the Dobbs decision, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced an advisory opinion indicating that the Kentucky Human Life Protecting Act, which bans abortions statewide, is now in effect.

Kentucky enacted the Human Life Protection Act, now codified at KRS 311.772, in March 2019. The Kentucky General Assembly passed the law by a bipartisan vote in both chambers. The Act prohibits abortion in most circumstances. Generally speaking, it states that no person may knowingly cause or aid in “the termination of the life of an unborn human being.” KRS 311.772(3). Performing a prohibited abortion is a Class D felony, but pregnant mothers who receive an abortion are not subject to any criminal liability. KRS 311.772(3)(b), (5)

The prohibition on performing abortions in KRS 311.772 became effective on June 24, 2022, the date on which the Supreme Court issued its decision in Dobbs.

But Planned Parenthood and the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the pro-life law under the state constitution and requested a retaining order against it while the lawsuit proceeds. That was granted June 30th by Jefferson County Circuit Judge Mitch Perry.

Today, Cameron has filed an appeal in the abortion case with the Kentucky Court of Appeals to overturn the injunction while the lawsuit proceeds. Because of the injunction, the state’s two abortion companies, Louisville, EMW Women’s Surgical Center and Planned Parenthood, are both continuing to kill unborn babies.

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Cameron’s appeal asks the Supreme Court to take up the issue, which would bypass the Court of Appeals. He said the Louisville judge “created the Kentucky version of Roe v. Wade.”

“I urge our appellate courts to reject the abortion facilities’ baseless argument that our constitution contains a previously unrecognized right to an abortion,” Cameron said in a media release Thursday.

In his ruling last week, Perry ruled there is “a substantial likelihood” that Kentucky’s new law violates “the rights to privacy and self-determination” protected by the state constitution. Kentucky is one of 13 states with so-called “trigger laws” in place that took effect when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in late June.

In his fiery appeal, Cameron echoed the majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which argued that the Supreme Court decision in Roe was an “exercise of raw judicial power” and the court had taken up authority that belonged to the legislature. He argued Perry’s injunction had done the same. “The circuit court arrogated itself to the legislative power that rightly belongs to the people.”

By issuing the injunction, Cameron said that the court had opened itself up to “case after case asking how far the right to abortion goes,” and that it threatened “to push the Courts of Justice into the political fire for decades to come.”

He asked the Court of Appeals to dissolve the injunction. In a separate motion, Cameron asked to transfer the case to the Supreme Court in order to resolve the case as soon as possible.

Previously, Cameron criticized the decision, saying the state would be challenging the decision.

“In the wake of an historic victory for life at the nation’s highest court, today, one judge in Kentucky has, without basis in the Kentucky Constitution, allowed two clinics to resume abortions. We cannot let the same mistake that happened in Roe v. Wade, nearly 50 years ago, to be made again in Kentucky. We will be seeking relief from this order,” he said in a statement.

“The U.S. Supreme Court made it abundantly clear in Dobbs that decisions about the protection of life should be decided by the states and the people through their representatives. Our General Assembly clearly expressed Kentucky’s support for life by passing the Human Life Protection Act with bipartisan support.  We will do everything possible to continue defending this law and to ensure that unborn life is protected in the Commonwealth,” he added.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling, Attorney General Cameron has taken action to ensure Kentucky’s pro-life laws take effect, after many were tied up in court for years.  He has asked courts to allow the Commonwealth’s heartbeat law (SB 9, 2019); prohibition of discriminatory abortions (HB 5, 2019); prohibition of live dismemberment abortions (HB 454, 2018); and the Humanity in Healthcare Bill (HB 3, 2022) to take effect.

The Human Life Protection Act prohibits abortions in the Commonwealth unless necessary to protect the life of the mother. 

Since the abortion ban went into effect, MW Women’s Surgical Center, one of the two abortion businesses in the state, says it has canceled around 200 abortions.

As LifeNews reported, the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, with a 6-3 majority ruling in the Dobbs case that “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion” — allowing states to ban abortions and protect unborn babies. The high court also ruled 6-3 uphold the Mississippi 15-week abortion ban so states can further limit abortions and to get rid of the false viability standard.

Chief Justice John Roberts technically voted for the judgment but, in his concurring opinion, disagreed with the reasoning and said he wanted to keep abortions legal but with a new standard.

Texas and Oklahoma had banned abortions before Roe was overturned and Missouri became the first state after Roe to protect babies from abortions and South Dakota became the 2nd. Then Arkansas became the third state protecting babies from abortions and Kentucky became the 4th and Louisiana became the 5th and Ohio became the 6th and Utah became the 7th and Oklahoma became the 8th and Alabama became the 9th. This week, Mississippi became the 10th and South Carolina became the 11th,Texas became the 12th with its pre-Roe law and Tennessee became the 13th.

Michigan, Wisconsin and West Virginia have old pro-life laws on the books but there is question about whether they are applicable and will be enforced.

Ultimately, as many as 26 states could immediately or quickly ban abortions and protect babies from certain death for the first time in nearly 50 years.

The 13 total states with trigger laws that would effectively ban all or most abortions are: Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

“Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives,” Alito wrote.

“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences,” Alito wrote. “And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”

Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer authored a joint dissent condemning the decision as enabling states to enact “draconian” restrictions on women.

Polls show Americans are pro-life on abortion and a new national poll shows 75% of Americans essentially agree with the Supreme Court overturning Roe.