Repro Roundup: Kentucky AG asks SCOTUS to uphold a law struck down last year that would outlaw D+E method, abortion after 11 weeks
Welcome to my column, The Repro Roundup, in which I summarize abortion news happening around the country, why it matters, and what you can do about it — in 250 words or less.
What’s the issue? The Kentucky Attorney General, Daniel Cameron, has asked the Supreme Court to uphold an anti-abortion law that was struck down by a Federal appeals court in 2019. House Bill 454 would ban abortions in the state after 11 weeks by outlawing a common and safe method of abortion, dilation, and evacuation. The bill passed in the state legislature and was signed into law by former Governor Matt Bevin, but was never enforced because the ACLU and EMW Women’s Surgical Center challenged the law in 2019. EMW is the state’s only abortion clinic.
Why does this matter? Given the new makeup of the Supreme Court, many states are willing to try their luck with their formerly struck-down anti-abortion laws. Method bans like this one are a common tactic used by anti-choice politicians to prevent patients from accessing safe and common care. D+E is the most common method of abortion in the second trimester, doesn’t necessarily require sedation, and takes only a few minutes to complete. Banning this method of abortion would be devastating for patients in the state who are already disadvantaged, like low-income folks and women of color.
Many patients who fall into these categories are pushed into the second trimester because of how long it takes to sort out the logistics of having an abortion: taking time off work, finding child care, coming up with funding, finding travel and lodging, and the implementation of a 24-hour waiting period in the state that requires patients to be “counseled” by the same physician who performs the procedure after 24 hours. If the physician is out sick, for example, the waiting period starts again. All of these factors can mean the difference between a first and second-trimester methods.
What action can I take?
- Donate to the EMW Women’s Surgical Center, and independent clinic and one of six Black-owned clinics in the country
- Clinic escort at EMW with the Louisville Clinic Escorts
- Support the Kentucky Health Justice Network, which provides: Financial assistance, a language accessible hotline, language interpretation, lodging, and travel. Shop their store
- Support the Kentucky A Fund, INC., which provides financial assistance
- Learn more about method bans from Guttmacher
- Subscribe to The Repro Queen of DC, my monthly newsletter on abortion access, activism, and writing on the frontlines of DC.
- Subscribe to Repro 101, a seven-week educational email series about all things repro. Topics include the basics of funding abortion, clinic escorting, anti-choice violence, and more.
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