U.S. Supreme Court rules KY Attorney General can defend State’s abortion law

The U.S. Supreme Court Thursday ruled 8-1 in favor of allowing Attorney General Cameron to continue defending Kentucky's abortion law, House Bill 454.

UPDATE: FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) (12:06 P.M.)- According to ACLU Kentucky, the court did not address the constitutionality of the abortion ban. The organization says the ban will remain blocked as the proceeds before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

ACLU Kentucky releasing its own statement Thursday to the ruling:

“Politicians in Kentucky are working overtime to force people to continue pregnancies against their will, instead of doing what is best for the people they are supposed to serve,” said Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project and lead counsel for EMW Women’s Surgical Center. “And it is not just in Kentucky. In Texas, most people are already being blocked from getting an abortion — a nightmare that could soon become reality for nearly half of this country, as the Supreme Court seems poised to gut or overturn Roe v. Wade. But this fight is not over and we’ll continue doing everything in our power to protect each person’s ability to get an abortion, no matter where they live.”

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) (RELEASE) (11:47 A.M.) – The U.S. Supreme Court Thursday ruled 8-1 in favor of allowing Attorney General Cameron to continue defending Kentucky’s abortion law, House Bill 454.

In a press release to ABC 36 News, following the Court’s ruling, Attorney General Cameron released this statement:

“At every turn, we’ve maintained that Kentucky’s law banning live-dismemberment abortions is worth defending and should receive a full defense from the challenge brought by the ACLU and an abortion clinic.  Today, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed.  This is a ruling that many in the Commonwealth have hoped for, and we will proudly continue to carry the mantle for this important pro-life law by going back to the Sixth Circuit and litigating the case.

The court’s ruling is a victory for the rule of law.  The court found that our office is the fail safe for defending the Commonwealth’s laws when they come under attack.  As the court noted, we had a strong interest in stepping in to defend this important law after the Beshear Administration’s ‘secretary for Health and Family Services elected to acquiesce.’

The members of the General Assembly, pro-life advocates, and countless Kentuckians have championed this law at every turn, and we are incredibly grateful for their support.  While the legal challenge to this law is not over, we will do what is necessary to defend it.”

In 2018, the Kentucky General Assembly passed HB 454, and the law was immediately challenged by a Kentucky abortion clinic.  After being sworn into office, Attorney General Cameron defended HB 454 in court on behalf of the Beshear Administration.  But when the Beshear Administration decided to stop defending the law, Attorney General Cameron asked to step in.  The Sixth Circuit refused the Attorney General’s effort, and Attorney General Cameron took his case to the United States Supreme Court.  In October 2021, Attorney General Cameron’s team argued before the Supreme Court for the ability to continue defending the law.

The Supreme Court’s opinion underscored the importance of allowing the Attorney General to defend Kentucky’s law, noting that “a State’s opportunity to defend its laws in federal court should not be lightly cut off.”

To view the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling, click here.

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