Kentucky Legislation Facing Two Lawsuits after Disregarding Governor’s Veto

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

By Veronica Miller and Matthew Torres

FRANKFORT, KY- Two lawsuits have been filed by Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in a response to Kentucky House Bill 3, another measure limiting abortions.

House Bill 3 includes several different abortion restrictions and bans abortions after 15 weeks. Some of these restrictions include informing and getting consent from both the parents a minor before performing an abortion, requiring pharmacists to complete a course on abortion drugs, and making the patient decide what to do with the fetus after the abortion.

Governor Andy Beshear vetoed this bill on April 8, but despite this veto the Kentucky Legislature overrode the veto, making it law.

Deputy Director Brigitte Amiri of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project said, “The Kentucky Legislature was emboldened by a similar 15-week ban pending before the Supreme Court and other states passing abortion bans.”

Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, in their legal action, are arguing that these requirements would cause for abortion services from providers to stop, and indirectly banning abortions from the state of Kentucky. Planned Parenthood and ACLU add there is a federal right to abortion that was given in Roe v. Wade.

Amiri also stated, “We urge the court to block this law immediately and ensure that people in Kentucky can continue to access abortion care.”

Planned Parenthood Federation of American and Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai’i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky (“PPGNHAIK”), who operates the Louisville Health Center issued a statement, charging:

“Make no mistake: the Kentucky Legislature’s sole goal with this law is to shut down health centers and completely eliminate abortion access in the state. But we haven’t lost hope – we’re getting to work. Trust us when we say that we will do everything in our power to stop this insidious law from preventing Kentuckians from accessing the vital, time sensitive health care they need and deserve.”

The statement signors concluded, “We are confident that the courts will stop this cruel and unconstitutional omnibus. Everyone deserves to make their own decisions about their bodies, lives, and futures.”

They claimed HB 3 effectively prohibits access to abortion in Kentucky through a series of restrictions that are nearly impossible for any abortion health center to comply with.”

The ACLU cites one example, the requirement for registration to provide medication abortion. However, this is not feasible considering the Commonwealth has yet to establish that registration process.

Another complaint about the bill are the reporting requirements that essentially violate patient privacy, said the ACLU.

“(I)f this law is not immediately blocked, Kentuckians will be denied their constitutional right to abortion in-state,” noting most people cannot afford to travel to another state to receive the care they need, forcing them to continue their pregnancies.

The ACLU maintains the “forced” continuance of a pregnancy comes at the physical, emotional, and financial toll of families, and disproportionately impact Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities as well as individuals who are low income or live in rural areas.

About The Author

Veronica is a senior at UC Davis majoring in Political Science Public Service. She is passionate about advocating for women's rights and plans on attending law school where she can continue to advocate.

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