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Federal judge temporarily suspends Kentucky’s sweeping abortion law

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A federal judge on Thursday issued a temporary order blocking a sweeping new abortion law passed last week in Kentucky that had ended all abortions statewide.

U.S. District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings in Louisville approved the request from Planned Parenthood, one of the abortion providers, for emergency assistance. The restraining order means both clinics in the state can resume abortions.

Last week, the Republican-led legislature overruled Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto to pass abortion limits. The new law, one of the most restrictive in the country, imposes limits on medical abortion, requires the cremation or burial of fetal remains and prohibits abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. An exception is allowed if the woman’s life is in danger, but there is no exception for rape or incest.

Kentucky has become the first state in the nation to stop providing abortion care, ahead of a much-anticipated Supreme Court ruling expected this summer that could reverse or roll back Roe vs. Wadethe landmark decision that guaranteed access to abortion nationwide.

The two Kentucky abortion providers, Planned Parenthood and EMW Women’s Surgical Center, have individually filed lawsuits challenging the law, arguing that it is an unconstitutional ban on abortion in the state.

Anticipating a favorable Supreme Court decision within months, Republican lawmakers and governors have moved quickly to restrict abortion access, impose new rules, or even criminalize performing the procedure, as has been done. Oklahoma.

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