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Planned Parenthood and EMW Women’s Surgical Center have requested a judge to dismiss their own year-long challenge to Kentucky’s abortion ban.
The motion supporting a dismissal came after the two abortion organizations were unable to produce a pregnant woman who wanted to and was prevented from getting an abortion because of the ban by the deadline set by the court, which was Tuesday.
“We are gratified that the abortion providers recognized their case should be dismissed,” Kentucky’s Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron said in a statement. “As a result of our efforts, I am proud to say that the elective abortion industry is out of business in Kentucky, and their inhumane practice remains illegal in our Commonwealth.”
The two last abortion providers in the Bluegrass State challenged the two abortion restrictions in June 2022 after they went into effect immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The two challenged laws include a trigger law that bans abortion except to save the life of the mother and a six-week ban.
EMW and Planned Parenthood argued the laws violated the rights to privacy and bodily autonomy as guaranteed by the Kentucky Constitution and were able to secure a temporary block of the laws. Cameron challenged the decision, which was eventually overturned by the Kentucky Court of Appeals.
The plaintiffs then appealed to the state’s Supreme Court, which ruled in Cameron’s favor. The Court ruled that the two organizations did not have standing to challenge the laws on behalf of their patients. The court also ruled that the temporary injunction was an abuse of the circuit court’s discretionary power.
“We moved to dismiss this case because earlier this year, the Kentucky Supreme Court issued an extraordinary ruling that took away health care providers’ ability to defend the rights of their patients, upending decades of precedent,” the two abortion providers said in a statement. “Bringing cases on behalf of patients has been standard practice in Kentucky and across the country for good reason — numerous obstacles stand in the way of patients coming forward to participate in litigation.”
Because Planned Parenthood and EMW could not produce a patient to challenge the law by the June 20 deadline, they filed their motion to dismiss, according to the Lexington Herald Leader.
Planned Parenthood and EMW’s challenge was not the only challenge to Kentucky’s abortion laws. Three Jewish women are challenging the ban on religious liberty grounds, saying the law is based on the Christian belief that life begins at conception, a belief they argue is absent from Judaism. Because of this, they claim, the law gives preference to Christians.
Cameron is the Republican nominee to challenge Democratic Governor Andy Beshear later this year. The black Republican is making his conservative record as Attorney General a central component of his campaign, contrasting himself with Beshear and tying the incumbent to the unpopular President Joe Biden.