A pregnant woman in Kentucky, identified as Jane Doe, has filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s near-total abortion ban. The ban prohibits all abortions after six weeks except when necessary to save the patient’s life or prevent disabling injury. Most pregnancies aren’t discovered until after six weeks. This is the second legal challenge in days against restrictive abortion laws that emerged in more than a dozen U.S. states after the overturning of Roe v. Wade last year.
Jane Doe, about eight weeks pregnant, argues that Kentucky’s ban infringes on her rights to privacy and self-determination under the state constitution. Seeking class-action status, she aims to represent others in Kentucky facing similar circumstances.
“This is my decision — not the government’s or any other person’s,” said Jane Doe in a statement issued by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), one of the groups supporting her case. “I am bringing this lawsuit because I firmly believe that everyone should have the ability to make their own decisions about their pregnancies.” In other words, not to allow the state to make personal medical decisions for people in vulnerable situations.
The lawsuit highlights the harm faced by Kentucky women who are denied the right to obtain an abortion, describing it as “medical, constitutional, and irreparable.” It emphasizes abortion as a crucial aspect of reproductive healthcare and a personal decision that should be free from government interference.
The legal challenge follows a similar pattern to recent attempts to challenge restrictive abortion laws across the United States. In Texas, a judge granted a temporary restraining order allowing a pregnant woman, whose fetus has a fatal diagnosis, to get an abortion, temporarily bypassing the state’s ban for 20 weeks.
Kentucky’s abortion bans faced previous legal challenges, with the state Supreme Court refusing to halt the near-total abortion ban and a ban after the sixth week of pregnancy in February. This latest lawsuit by the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and one pregnant woman in kentucky aims to address the broader constitutional questions surrounding abortion access in the state.