22 Top State Legal Enforcers Denounce Governor Bevin’s Illegal Attempts to Eliminate AbortionAccess
AGs from Kentucky, Nevada, 19 other states and D.C. submit amicus briefs in support of Planned Parenthood and ACLU suit to keep Kentucky’s only abortion clinic open
Washington, D.C. - Today, attorneys general from Kentucky, Nevada and 19 other states plus the District of Columbia urged the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to protect abortion access in the Commonwealth by blocking Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin from closing the only remaining abortionprovider in the state, EMW Women’s Surgical Center. In the brief led by Attorney General Aaron Ford, the attorneys general underscored that the Kentucky law is an unconstitutional violation of a woman’s right to access safe and legal abortion:
“Women in Kentucky should not be forced to travel out of state in order to obtain constitutionally protected abortion services, particularly with no corresponding benefit. The Kentucky law at issue here imposes a disproportionate burden on women’s constitutional rights, under any analysis.”
In 2016, in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the Supreme Court struck down a similar Texas law – yet Kentucky politicians ignored the landmark Texas case, and tried to use Kentucky’s medically unnecessary law to shut down the last clinic in the state, and also prevent Planned Parenthood from providing needed care. To make matters worse, this year, anti-abortion politicians are doubling down on their efforts to ban abortion. Already, the number of introduced bills in states that ban abortionbefore many women know they’re pregnant has increased by 63% compared to this time last year. In addition to recent abortion bans passed in Kentucky, harmful restrictions like the Kentucky law is narrowing abortion access at a rapid pace. Kentucky is one of six states with only one provider left.
Statement from Helene Krasnoff, Vice President of Public Policy Litigation & Law, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
To have 22 attorneys general sign onto briefs urging the court to protect access to abortion is a testament to just how unlawful this restriction is. With a record number of unconstitutional abortion bans advancing in state legislatures, this accountability is necessary as politicians continue to disregard Supreme Court precedent. The Kentuckylaw and others like it deny women access to safe and legal abortion. It is unconstitutional, it is dangerous and it should be struck down.
Statement from Chris Charbonneau, CEO, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky:
For our patients, safe, legal abortion isn’t about politics. Full stop. Abortion care is health care and allows people to live the life they choose. This unconstitutional law threatens their rights and freedoms to do so. We are grateful to have so many attorneysgeneral standing with Kentucky patients and their access to health care. When we stand and fight injustice together, we are stronger together.
In March 2017, Kentucky threatened to revoke the license of EMW Women’s Surgical Center, alleging that the clinic’s agreements with a hospital and an ambulance service contained technical deficiencies despite having approved the same agreements in 2016. Furthermore, the state has refused to issue Planned Parenthood its license to provide abortion based on the same law.
This isn’t the first time state attorneys general have spoken out about the unlawful Trump-Pence agenda taking aim at reproductive health care. Earlier this year, Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear also warned that a bill that would ban abortion before many people know they are pregnant was unconstitutional. Governor Matt Bevin signed SB 9 into law and it has already been blocked by courts. Last month, 23 attorneys general filed lawsuits challenging Trump’s Title X gag rule, a harmful policy that would dismantle the nation’s only dedicated family planning program. When Trump went after the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, 21 attorneys general filed a brief opposing abstinence-only curricula that would put young people at risk.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.