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Kentucky abortion ban temporarily suspended

U.S. judge temporarily blocks enforcement of Kentucky’s new abortion law

April 21 (Reuters) - A federal judge on Thursday temporarily blocked Kentucky officials from enforcing a sweeping new abortion law that Planned Parenthood said would force abortion clinics to stop offering the procedure until they can meet certain requirements.

By Nate Raymond

U.S. District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings in Louisville issued a temporary restraining order at Planned Parenthood’s request a week after the Republican-led legislature overrode a veto by the state’s Democratic governor to enact the law.[nL2N2WC1Z1]

The measure, HB 3, made Kentucky the first U.S. state without legal abortion access since the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade established the right to end a pregnancy before the fetus is viable nationwide, abortion providers say.Read full story

The law calls for a combination birth-death or stillbirth certificate to be issued for each abortion, and it bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Jennings, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, said that because the law went into effect immediately, there was not enough time for related regulations governing abortion to be written that abortion clinics are required to comply with.

“Because plaintiff cannot comply with HB 3 and thus cannot legally perform abortion services, its patients face a substantial obstacle to exercising their rights to a pre-viability abortion,” she wrote.

Jennings said she was not at this stage considering the constitutionality of the substance of the law’s regulations but that enforcement of the measure was necessary so she could determine what measures Planned Parenthood could comply with.

Planned Parenthood and Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a Republican who is defending the law, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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