Planned Parenthood, ACLU sue to block Kentucky's abortion restrictions

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April 14 (Reuters) - Abortion providers including Planned Parenthood on Thursday sued to block a sweeping new Kentucky law that forces them to stop offering the procedure until they can meet certain requirements, saying it amounted to an unconstitutional ban on abortions.

A Planned Parenthood affiliate and a clinic represented by the American Civil Liberties Union filed separate lawsuits a day after the Republican-led legislature overrode a veto by the state's Democratic governor to enact the anti-abortion law.

The measure made Kentucky the first U.S. state without legal abortion access since the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade established the right to end a pregnancy before the fetus is viable nationwide, abortion providers say. read more

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The law went into effect immediately, making it "impossible" to comply with a vast amount of newly imposed requirements and regulations governing abortion that have yet to be written, the lawsuits said, describing it as "tantamount to a ban on abortion."

The law calls for a combination birth-death or stillbirth certificate to be issued for each abortion, and it bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

The lawsuits, by Planned Parenthood and EMW Women’s Surgical Center, argued that by giving them no time to comply, the law violated their due process rights and patients' privacy rights.

The abortion providers are seeking a temporary restraining order to block enforcement of the law.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a Republican, in a statement said he was "prepared to earnestly defend this new law against the legal challenge from Planned Parenthood and the ACLU."

Republican-led states this year have been rapidly passing anti-abortion legislation in anticipation that the U.S. Supreme Court will back a 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi this spring.

The U.S. Supreme Court now has a 6-3 conservative majority and appeared open during arguments in December to rolling back or overturning Roe v. Wade.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Thursday signed into law a ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. On Tuesday, Oklahoma's governor signed a near-total abortion ban into law, which would take effect this summer. read more

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Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston, Editing by Alexia Garamfalvi and Aurora Ellis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Nate Raymond reports on the federal judiciary and litigation. He can be reached at