AG Cameron files brief defending abortion laws ahead of Supreme Court’s oral arguments

Mark Payne
Mark Payne
Mark Payne is the government and politics reporter for LINK nky. Email him at [email protected]

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On Monday, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron filed a brief in defense of Kentucky’s abortion laws ahead of the state’s Supreme Courts November arguments over the Commonwealth’s trigger abortion ban that went into effect over the summer. 

The filing comes as the court prepares to hear oral arguments, and lawsuits continue to mount against the abortion laws. 

The state’s two abortion trigger laws – Human Life Protection Act and Heartbeat Law — took effect after a ruling from the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.

“Kentucky case law clearly establishes that the General Assembly is the appropriate body to determine how Kentucky regulates abortion,” said Attorney General Cameron. “The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs took this issue away from federal judges and returned it to the states, and our representatives must be given the opportunity to represent Kentuckians in this matter.”

In his 25-page brief, Cameron argues that a circuit court decision blocking enforcement of the bans should be permanently overruled — in August, the Court of Appeals agreed with Cameron temporarily until the Supreme Court would hear oral arguments.

The abortion ban has been on a roller coaster in Kentucky ever since the overturning of Roe v. Wade triggered the ban in June, but in August, the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s motion to reinstate the abortion rule that bans the procedure upon detecting a fetal heartbeat. 

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kentucky and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America requested emergency relief after the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Cameron and allowed the abortion bans to go into effect on Aug. 2. 

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“The Supreme Court’s decision to allow Kentucky’s abortion bans to remain in effect puts nearly a million people’s health care in jeopardy,” the groups said in a joint statement. “Abortion is not only health care but also a critical individual freedom. Make no mistake: abortion bans result in tragic health outcomes and are a form of control over our bodies.” 

However, the state Supreme Court blocked the motion for a temporary injunction, keeping the procedure illegal in Kentucky until the court hears oral arguments in November. 

In early October, three Jewish women from Louisville filed a lawsuit against Cameron over the abortion bans. In their suit, they allege that the abortion bans violate the Kentucky Religious Freedom Restoration Act. 

The suit — filed by Lisa Sobel, Jessica Kalb, and Sarah Baron — says that under Jewish Law, a fetus doesn’t become a human being or a child until birth. 

“Under no circumstances has Jewish Law defined a human being or child as the moment that a human spermatozoon fuses with a human ovum,” the lawsuit reads. 

The lawsuit says, “Kentucky’s legislature has imposed sectarian theology on Jews.” 

“The Kentucky Legislature has substantially burdened Plaintiffs’ freedom of religion and has failed to articulate a substantial governmental interest in its interference with reproductive technology,” the lawsuit reads. 

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