Appeals court reinstates Kentucky’s near-total abortion ban

August 2, 2022 GMT
FILE - Abortion-rights supporters chant their objections at the Kentucky Capitol on April 13, 2022, in Frankfort, Ky. Attorneys for Kentucky’s two abortion clinics sought an injunction in court Wednesday, July 6, 2022, to block the state's near-total ban on the procedure, one of numerous such efforts across the country following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. (AP Photo/Bruce Schreiner, File)
FILE - Abortion-rights supporters chant their objections at the Kentucky Capitol on April 13, 2022, in Frankfort, Ky. Attorneys for Kentucky’s two abortion clinics sought an injunction in court Wednesday, July 6, 2022, to block the state's near-total ban on the procedure, one of numerous such efforts across the country following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. (AP Photo/Bruce Schreiner, File)
FILE - Abortion-rights supporters chant their objections at the Kentucky Capitol on April 13, 2022, in Frankfort, Ky. Attorneys for Kentucky’s two abortion clinics sought an injunction in court Wednesday, July 6, 2022, to block the state's near-total ban on the procedure, one of numerous such efforts across the country following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. (AP Photo/Bruce Schreiner, File)
FILE - Abortion-rights supporters chant their objections at the Kentucky Capitol on April 13, 2022, in Frankfort, Ky. Attorneys for Kentucky’s two abortion clinics sought an injunction in court Wednesday, July 6, 2022, to block the state's near-total ban on the procedure, one of numerous such efforts across the country following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. (AP Photo/Bruce Schreiner, File)
FILE - Abortion-rights supporters chant their objections at the Kentucky Capitol on April 13, 2022, in Frankfort, Ky. Attorneys for Kentucky’s two abortion clinics sought an injunction in court Wednesday, July 6, 2022, to block the state's near-total ban on the procedure, one of numerous such efforts across the country following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. (AP Photo/Bruce Schreiner, File)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky appeals court has reinstated a near-total abortion ban that took effect when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

The ruling means most abortions are illegal in the state, for now.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron asked the court for an emergency stay, which blocked a lower court’s ruling. That ruling by a Louisville judge last month put two abortion bans on hold so the courts could determine if they violate Kentucky’s constitution.

The state’s two clinics issued a media release Monday night declaring “abortion is now banned in Kentucky,” and said they began canceling scheduled procedures.

The ruling will be appealed to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

“Tonight, in one fateful moment, Kentuckians saw their reproductive freedom stolen by their elected officials,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “It is devastating and cruel. But the fight is not over.”

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The appeals court said the ban should take effect, even if the laws are in dispute, because in Kentucky, “a statute carries with it the presumption of constitutionality.”

Kentucky’s legislature passed a “trigger law” banning nearly all abortions, except when the health of the mother is threatened, if Roe was overturned. Lawmakers also passed a separate 6-week ban that the clinics also challenged.

The lower court judge, Mitch Perry, ruled on July 22 that there is “a substantial likelihood” that Kentucky’s new abortion laws violate “the rights to privacy and self-determination” protected by Kentucky’s constitution.