The groups’ strategy will focus on the next legal challenge expected to come from pregnant women who were denied abortion services in Kentucky.
“We will be back in court when we have a patient plaintiff,” Tamarra Wieder, Kentucky state director for Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates, said in a statement.
The current suit was filed by attorneys for the only two abortion clinics left in Kentucky when the state’s ban on the procedure took effect following the 2022 U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.
The plaintiffs in the Kentucky suit failed to get abortion access restored in a February ruling by Kentucky’s Supreme Court that focused on narrow legal issues. The justices didn’t resolve larger constitutional questions about whether access to abortion should be legal in the Bluegrass State.
Abortion providers challenged the ban on the premise that it violated patients’ constitutional rights, but the state’s high court ruled that the providers lacked the “third-party standing” to do so. The justices sent the case back to a circuit court in Louisville.
Last year, Kentucky voters rejected a ballot measure that would have denied any constitutional protections for abortion, handing a victory to abortion-rights supporters.
The outcome highlighted what appeared to be a gap between voter sentiment and the expectations of Kentucky’s GOP-dominated Legislature.
The legal challenge brought by the Louisville abortion providers revolves around Kentucky’s near-total trigger law ban and a separate six-week ban — both passed by the state’s Legislature. The trigger law was passed in 2019 and took effect when Roe v. Wade was overturned. It bans abortions except when they’re carried out to save the life