Quick Takes

Challenge to Kentucky’s abortion ban ends after pregnancy becomes nonviable

By: - December 18, 2023 10:01 am

Planned Parenthood’s Louisville health clinic. (Kentucky Lantern photo by Deborah Yetter)

Lawyers for a Kentucky woman challenging the state’s abortion ban asked that the case be dismissed on Monday, a week after the fetus lost cardiac activity. 

This came a week after the Kentucky woman who sued for the right to abortion announced her pregnancy was no longer viable. At the time she filed her lawsuit, she was eight weeks pregnant but said she didn’t want to be.

The lawsuit argued her autonomy and right to self determination were violated by the near total abortion bans in the state. 

Lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Kentucky, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai‘i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky are now looking for other potential plaintiffs to carry on a challenge to the law.

In a joint statement they said, “The Kentucky Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year to take away health care providers’ ability to raise the rights of their patients has backed Kentuckians into a corner. The court’s decision has forced Kentuckians seeking abortion to bring a lawsuit while in the middle of seeking time-sensitive health care, a daunting feat, and one that should not be necessary to reclaim the fundamental right to control their own bodies. But we won’t stop fighting.”

The Kentucky Supreme Court in February ruled that abortion providers lacked legal standing to challenge the abortion ban on behalf of their patients. The providers then asked that the suit be dismissed as they sought a plaintiff who would have standing under the state Supreme Court decision.

This story may update. 


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Sarah Ladd
Sarah Ladd

Sarah Ladd is a Louisville-based journalist from West Kentucky who's covered everything from crime to higher education. She spent nearly two years on the metro breaking news desk at The Courier Journal. In 2020, she started reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic and has covered health ever since. As the Kentucky Lantern's health reporter, she focuses on mental health, LGBTQ+ issues, children's welfare, COVID-19 and more.