FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 23, 2023) – Nearly one year after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, Attorney General Daniel Cameron highlighted his office’s efforts to protect the sanctity of life since the landmark ruling.
“Every life is worth protecting, and I will continue to be a voice for mothers, families, and unborn babies throughout our Commonwealth,” said Attorney General Cameron. “My office has spent the last year vigorously defending our state’s pro-life legislation at every level of the judicial system. Despite baseless legal challenges by abortion activists, the right to life is winning in Kentucky. I look forward to a future that prioritizes real life-affirming options and support for everyone who needs them.”
Kentucky continues to lead on the issue of life, thanks to General Cameron’s tireless efforts. Since taking office, he has prioritized the enforcement of Kentucky’s pro-life laws, prevailing in case after case. The same day as the Dobbs ruling, General Cameron announced the immediate effectiveness of Kentucky’s Human Life Protection Act and issued public guidance explaining the law’s full force and impact. This led to Kentucky’s two abortion clinics immediately closing their doors and cancelling approximately 200 scheduled abortions.
Kentucky’s two abortion facilities quickly challenged the Commonwealth’s Human Life Protection Act and Heartbeat Law in court. Days later, a circuit court judge—without basis in the state’s Constitution—temporarily halted enforcement of the laws. Doing so allowed abortions to temporarily resume.
Attorney General Cameron then took decisive action to enforce the Human Life Protection Act and the Heartbeat Law. He filed an appeal, and the Court of Appeals quickly ordered the laws to be enforced. The Kentucky Supreme Court later denied the abortion facilities’ request to stay open and allowed these laws to remain in effect while the case moved forward. As a result, the abortion facilities closed for the second time on August 1, 2022.
They have not reopened since.
In the meantime, Attorney General Cameron secured a string of legal victories. A district court dismissed one of the abortion facility’s challenge to Kentucky’s law prohibiting abortion based on the gender, race, or disability of an unborn child—allowing the law to take effect immediately. EMW’s federal challenge to the Heartbeat Law was also dismissed. And a district court ordered that Kentucky’s law prohibiting gruesome, live-dismemberment abortions should take effect, following an 8-1 ruling in Attorney General Cameron’s favor by the Supreme Court of the United States. This last ruling came after the Beshear Administration abandoned its defense of Kentucky’s pro-life law.
In February 2023, the Kentucky Supreme Court issued its long-awaited ruling in the case involving the Human Life Protection Act and the Heartbeat Law. The state’s highest court ruled in favor of Attorney General Cameron, agreeing that a lower court wrongly halted the enforcement of both laws. And just recently, a federal court dismissed challenges to the Humanity in Healthcare Act, which is now fully in force and is the law of Kentucky.
The two abortion facilities have themselves since asked the court to dismiss their challenges to Kentucky’s Human Life Protection Act and Heartbeat Law.
As a result of Attorney General Cameron’s efforts in court, every word of every abortion law challenged by the abortion facilities since he took office is now fully in force. The pro-life laws on which Attorney General Cameron has secured victories include: the Humanity in Healthcare Act (2022 House Bill 3); the Human Life Protection Act (2019 House Bill 148); the Heartbeat Law (2019 Senate Bill 9); the law prohibiting abortions based on race, gender, and disability (2019 House Bill 5); and the law banning live-dismemberment abortions (2018 House Bill 454).