By Sarah Ladd
A Kentucky woman who is pregnant but does not want to be is suing Attorney General Daniel Cameron and others in Jefferson County Circuit Court to challenge the state’s near total abortion bans, the first lawsuit of its kind in Kentucky.
The woman, identified only as Jane Doe, said in a statement that “I am angry that now that I am pregnant and do not want to be, the government is interfering in my private matters and blocking me from having an abortion.”
Doe, who is represented by the American Civil Liberties Union in her class action lawsuit, is eight weeks pregnant, according to the court filing. She “seeks to terminate her pregnancy in the Commonwealth but cannot legally do so.”
After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade, which gave Americans the constitutional right to abortion, in 2022, a “trigger law” went into effect in Kentucky that banned abortions. Another law bans abortions after six weeks. Kentucky does not have exceptions for rape or incest. Lawyers for this case are asking that the state’s bans be ruled unconstitutional.
“At this moment, Jane Doe and the other putative and future class members, are suffering medical, constitutional, and irreparable harm because they are denied the ability to obtain an abortion,” the lawsuit states.
It argues that the bans violate Doe’s right to self-determination, as well as the autonomy of others like her.
This lawsuit is “historic” for Kentucky, said Amber Duke, executive director for the ACLU of Kentucky. Nationally, though, cases like this are not new.
“Even before Roe vs. Wade was overturned. . .we did bring class action lawsuits on behalf of individuals, often in the context of people who were pregnant and seeking abortion when they were in government custody,” said