Abortion Rights Remain for KY Women, For Now
Monday, April 25, 2022
The ACLU of Kentucky said it remains unclear whether women seeking abortions after 15 weeks are protected from penalties, after a federal judge issued an emergency order last week blocking a new state law from going into effect.
House Bill 3 temporarily went on the books after state Republican lawmakers overrode Gov. Andy Beshear's veto, which meant people who needed abortions could not obtain them for eight days.
Tamara Weider, Kentucky state director for Planned Parenthood, said patients with appointments suddenly had to make plans to travel out of state.
"Kentuckians were put in an unspeakable situation," Weider asserted. "Those who had abortions scheduled were not able to have them in Kentucky, and they had to seek care outside of the state."
House Bill 3 virtually eliminates abortion access by including a deluge of requirements with which providers are currently unable to comply, including obtaining registration to supply medication abortion. The bill also includes a ban on abortion after 15 weeks, before many women even realize they are pregnant.
Weider added while she welcomes the restraining order, the legal tactics deployed in House Bill 3 are a serious legal blow to reproductive rights in the Commonwealth.
"And so in the last eight days we saw Kentucky without abortion access, which was the first state in 49 years to see the loss of access to abortion care," Weider contended.
She also pointed out the myriad restrictions outlined in the bill would impact low-income and Black and brown communities the most.
"Those who have means will always be able to find a way to get an abortion," Weider explained. "And those with lesser means in rural parts of the state without transportation are going to be disproportionately impacted by these types of bans."
According to the Guttmacher Institute, so far nationwide lawmakers in 41 states have introduced more than 500 abortion restrictions.
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