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American News Apr 22, 2022 2:49 PM EST

Kentucky pro-life law temporarily blocked by federal judge at Planned Parenthood's request

A federal judge in Louisville has temporarily blocked Kentucky’s recently enacted abortion law after Planned Parenthood filed a request for a temporary restraining order on the legislation.

Kentucky pro-life law temporarily blocked by federal judge at Planned Parenthood's request
Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

On Thursday, a federal judge in Louisville temporarily blocked Kentucky’s recently enacted abortion law after Planned Parenthood filed a request for a temporary restraining order on the legislation. Planned Parenthood is one of two abortion providers in the state.

According to Reuters, US District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings granted Planned Parenthood’s request around a week after the Republican-led legislature overrode the governor’s veto to enact the law.

Abortion providers reportedly said that the legislation, which was in effect for only eight days, made Kentucky the first US state without legal abortion access since the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade.

House Bill 3 places a number of restriction on abortion procedures, mainly around abortions using medication.

In regards to medication abortion, which are generally provided up to 10 weeks of pregnancy, restrictions have been implemented on doctors and pharmacists, with enhanced reporting procedures being put into place.

The legislation requires the woman seeking an abortion to have an in-person visit with a physician, rather than telehealth.

It also requires the state pharmacy board to create a new program which will oversee the distribution of abortion drugs, and oversee a new certification process for pharmacies, physicians, manufacturers and distributors who administer or provide the drugs.

It implements fines for those found not to be compliant with certification requirements, which the pharmacy board will be required to enforce, with pharmacies, manufacturers, and distributors receiving no less than a $5 million fine for violations, and $250,000 fines for physicians.

The legislation requires physicians that prescribe the abortion medication to maintain hospital admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, or have a written contract with a physician who has these privileges.

It also requires that fetal remains from abortions not be disposed of as medical waste, instead requiring cremation or burial by a licensed establishment.

The legislation also seeks restrictions on judicial bypasses where minors can seek abortions by getting permission from a judge in cases where getting permission from a parents is not possible.

According to Reuters, both Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union filed separate lawsuits against the legislation.

Jennings noted that because the law went into effect immediately, "there was not enough time for related regulations governing abortion to be written that clinics must comply with," Reuters reported.

"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.

She also noted that at this stage, she is not considering the constitutionality of the law's requirements, "and would consider at a hearing on whether to grant a preliminary injunction whether any parts could be complied with," Reuters reported.

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