It’s looking like Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron might get what he wants from the U.S. Supreme Court and be allowed to defend a state law banning a specific type of abortion procedure.
Even one of the court’s more liberal justices seemed inclined, after arguments on Tuesday, to let Cameron continue fighting the law.
“Why can’t he just come in and defend the law?” asked Judge Stephen Breyer, who is typically aligned with the Court’s liberal wing, during questioning. The court currently has more conservative judges than liberal ones.
The law is Kentucky legislation passed in 2018 that would have banned the dilation and evacuation procedure, used for second-trimester abortions.
The courts struck down the law, but the state continued to defend it until Democrat Andy Beshear became governor. When Kentucky’s health officer dropped his name from the lawsuit, Republican AG Cameron decided he wanted in.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit said Cameron was not allowed to intervene in the case. This decision is what Cameron is appealing to the Supreme Court.
While the court is not deciding whether or not to uphold Kentucky’s dilation and evacuation ban, the ACLU, which countered Cameron’s arguments on Tuesday, is couching the Court’s incoming decision as an important moment for abortion rights.
If Cameron were to get the chance to defend the D&E ban and he succeeded, abortions would essentially be banned after 15 weeks of pregnancy in Kentucky, the ACLU says. (The vast majority of second-trimester abortions are performed via the D&E procedure.) This, and other restrictive abortion laws in the state put its citizens in a position with few choices.
“Due to laws like these, abortion access in Kentucky has been decimated — only two providers remain, essentially forcing pregnancy on many individuals who can’t otherwise get care,” the ACLU wrote in a blog post.
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