Federal Judge Blocks Kentucky Pro-Life Law

A federal judge in Kentucky on Thursday placed a hold on the state’s new pro-life law regulating abortions, allowing Planned Parenthood and other abortionists to resume their activities.

U.S. District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings granted a motion filed by the abortion industry giant for a temporary order retstraining the state from enforcing the law it enacted last week prohibiting abortions in the Bluegrass State.

Judge Jennings was appointed to the federal bench by President Donald Trump in 2017.

The ruling comes immediately after the Kentucky state Senate voted to override the veto of the bill by Democratic Governor Andy Beshear on April 13.

The law’s primary function is to ban abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy. The previous law banned abortion after the 20th gestational week. It adds new restrictions on abortions for minor girls, requiring judicial approval in some circumstances.

The law also prohibits delivering abortion drugs by mail, a procedure recently approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration. It also requires the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services to study and monitor producers and distributors of abortion drugs.

The new law also directs the creation of an online reporting process for any person with complaints about the use or effects of abortion drugs. The state is required to investigate all complaints.

The new law requires fetal remains of an abortion procedure be disposed of according to existing state law through cremation or burial.

Judge Jennings focused primarily on the “enforceability” of the new law in issuing the restraining order, rather than the constitutional validity of the measure. She said that the monitoring system imposed for the monitoring of abortion drugs does not exist, making it impossible currently for providers to comply with the law. The order stated that the court has not yet considered the constitutionality of the law.

The Kentucky law is similar to others passed recently in several red states, including Oklahoma and Florida, that mirror the core provisions of the Mississippi pro-life law currently at issue in a case before the Supreme Court.

Pro-life advocates have joined the Mississippi attorney general in that case in asking the court to expressly overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that prohibits almost all state restrictions on abortion before fetal viability. A decision is expected in that case by this summer.