FRANKFORT, Ky. (October 26, 2022) – Attorney General Daniel Cameron today issued a second advisory regarding the scope and effect of Kentucky’s Human Life Protection Act to address additional questions related to the Act. The Human Life Protection Act took effect on June 24, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs, which overturned Roe v. Wade.
In 2019, the General Assembly passed the Human Life Protection Act with bipartisan support in both chambers. The statute prevents any person from knowingly causing or aiding in “the termination of the life of an unborn human being” in a pregnant woman, with some exceptions. A key exception involves protecting the life and health of a pregnant woman.
According to the Act, a physician only violates the law if he or she knowingly assists in a procedure with the specific intent to terminate the life of an unborn child in a pregnant woman. Physicians who prescribe medical treatment that accidentally or unintentionally causes the death of an unborn child do not violate the law.
In the advisory, Attorney General Cameron explains that the Act includes an exception to protect the life and health of a pregnant woman. The law does not prohibit performing an abortion if a physician using “reasonable medical judgment” decides it is necessary to prevent death, a substantial risk of death, or serious damage to a life-sustaining organ. This kind of health exception is not new to the practice of medicine, and similar exceptions to abortion laws have been applied long before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
On June 24, Attorney General Cameron released an initial advisory regarding the Human Life Protection Act following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health.