US judges halt abortion bans in Kentucky and Florida

by | Jun 30, 2022 | World

Courts block conservative states from enforcing bans as abortion rights groups push for injunctions after fall of Roe.US judges have temporarily blocked abortion bans in Florida and Kentucky following the US Supreme Court ruling that eliminated constitutional protections for abortion rights last week.
Circuit Court Judge John Cooper on Thursday granted a petition from abortion rights groups in Florida to freeze a state law that would ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
In Kentucky, Judge Mitch Perry put a temporary restraining order in place that prevents the state from enforcing a “trigger ban” that automatically took effect after Roe v Wade, the 1973 decision enshrining the constitutional right to an abortion, was struck down last Friday.
With the reversal of Roe, abortion rights groups have swiftly gone to court to contest efforts by Republicans to expand abortion restrictions across the country. These curbs are now taking effect or are expected to in 22 states.
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State courts in Texas, Louisiana, and Utah have also blocked bans in those states since last week. Abortion providers are pushing for similar steps in Idaho, Ohio, Mississippi, and West Virginia.
In April, Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, a potential candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, signed the 15-week abortion ban. It was set to take effect on Friday.
Following the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe, which centred on a Mississippi law similar to the restrictions in Florida, DeSantis said the decision “answered the prayers” of millions of Americans. About 37 percent of people in the US support the decision to overturn Roe, a recent poll found.
But Judge Cooper said on Thursday that Florida had failed to provide “convincing and credible evidence” that the law “exhibits a compelling state interest to be protected”.
Planned Parenthood and several Florida abortion clinics had argued that Florida’s state constitution guarantees women the right to have an abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.
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In a statement following Cooper’s ruling, Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of Americ …

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