Judge grants a temporary restraining order on new Kentucky abortion law

By Dave Andrusko

On Thursday U.S. District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings granted a request for emergency relief from Planned Parenthood, one of Kentucky’s two abortion clinics, by issuing a temporary restraining order against HB3, a multi-faceted pro-life bill that includes a ban on abortions performed after the 15th week.

“Jennings said her order is not a ruling on the constitutionality of HB 3; she will consider that argument at a hearing on whether to grant a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of HB 3 before her temporary order expires in 14 days,” Deborah Yetter reported for the Louisville Courier
Journal.

“The court finds that based on the plain language of HB 3, the Kentucky legislature intended for the entire law to become effective immediately, regardless of whether the cabinet has created a means for compliance,” Judge Jennings wrote. “The plain language of HB 3 is clear that the entire law became effective and enforceable on April 13, 2022.”

But, as Yetter wrote, “Abortion providers would not have to comply with forms and regulations not yet developed, said Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who is charged in HB 3 with enforcing it.”

Cameron said he was “disappointed that the court chose to temporarily halt enforcement of the law.”

“This law is constitutional and we look forward to continuing to defend it,” Cameron said. He argued that the law contained “much needed regulatory reforms.” Cameron added that abortion providers would not have to comply with forms and regulations not yet developed.

HB3 “imposes limits on medication abortion, requiring abortion providers to be certified by the state pharmacy board and outlawing telemedicine for abortion pills,” the Washington Post’s Caroline Kitchener reported. “It also requires the cremation or burial of fetal remains and bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.”

Yesterday’s ruling by Judge Jennings “comes in the case of Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit though it affects both clinics,” Yetter wrote. “EMW’s lawsuit is pending before U.S. District Judge David Hale, who has not yet ruled.”