A woman who is expecting in Kentucky files a lawsuit for the freedom to obtain an abortion.

A lawsuit was filed on Friday in Louisville, Kentucky by a pregnant woman seeking the right to have an abortion. This is the second legal challenge in a matter of days against the widespread abortion bans that have been enacted in over a dozen states since the overturn of Roe v. Wade last year.

The lawsuit, submitted in a Louisville state court, alleges that Kentucky’s almost complete ban on abortion infringes upon the plaintiff’s privacy and self-determination rights as guaranteed by the state constitution.

According to the lawsuit, the complainant, referred to as Jane Doe, is currently eight weeks pregnant and desires to terminate her pregnancy in Kentucky. However, due to the state’s restriction, she is unable to do so. The plaintiff is also requesting to represent a larger group of individuals from Kentucky who are or will be pregnant and wish to have an abortion.

“I am a proud resident of Kentucky and I am grateful for the life my family and I have built here. However, I am frustrated that, now that I am pregnant and do not wish to be, I am facing obstacles imposed by the government in regards to my reproductive choices,” stated the plaintiff in a press release from the American Civil Liberties Union, one of the organizations supporting her legal challenge. “The government has no right to interfere in my personal decisions and prevent me from obtaining an abortion. This is my choice, not theirs or anyone else’s.”

The state Attorney General for the Republican party, Daniel Cameron, stated that his office is currently examining the lawsuit but did not provide any additional remarks. Cameron’s office has previously supported the state’s laws regarding abortion in other legal cases.

The most recent legal dispute was criticized by The Family Foundation, a conservative organization strongly against abortion. The executive director, David Walls, dismissed it as “completely baseless” for abortion advocates to argue that Kentucky’s constitution contains a hidden right to end the life and heartbeats of unborn individuals.

A woman in Kentucky filed a legal request after a judge in Texas granted a pregnant woman with a fatally diagnosed fetus the ability to have an abortion. The order, which was issued on Thursday, prevents Texas from enforcing its ban on the 20-week pregnant woman and will remain in effect for 14 days. The woman’s lawyers expressed caution about the potential impact of this decision, while Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton reassured that medical professionals will still be held liable for any legal consequences.

On Friday, Paxton requested the Texas Supreme Court to promptly address the ruling and make a decision.

Attorneys for Cox have stated that they will not reveal her intentions, citing concerns for her safety.

In contrast to Texas, there is limited information available about the Kentucky plaintiff and her pregnancy. The ongoing legal battles in various parts of the country have primarily focused on the experiences of women who were refused abortions despite facing difficult pregnancy complications.

However, in Kentucky, the lawyers representing the plaintiff have stated that they will vigorously defend their client’s privacy. Amber Duke, executive director of the ACLU of Kentucky, emphasized that Jane Doe strongly believes in the right to make personal decisions and choices for one’s family.

In the beginning of this year, the Supreme Court of Kentucky declined to stop the state’s nearly complete ban on abortion and another law that prohibits abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy. The judges specifically examined specific legal matters, but did not address the broader constitutional concerns regarding the legality of abortion in Kentucky.

The American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, and other advocates claim they have been attempting to find a petitioner since the ruling in February. The lawsuit submitted on Friday signifies the beginning of their latest effort to challenge the abortion restrictions in the state.

“The implementation of these bans last year has caused harm to numerous individuals in Kentucky. We are grateful for the opportunity to return to court and work towards restoring access to abortion,” stated Brigitte Amiri, deputy director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, in the press release.

According to the lawsuit, women in Kentucky are experiencing significant harm, both medically and constitutionally, due to being denied access to abortion services.

The lawsuit states that abortion is an essential aspect of reproductive healthcare and is vital for Kentuckians to have control over their own lives.

The decision to assume the potential health risks and responsibilities of pregnancy and parenthood is a personal and significant choice that should be made by the individual without interference from the government, according to the statement.

In the previous year, voters in Kentucky did not approve a proposal that aimed to remove all constitutional safeguards for abortion. However, advocates for abortion rights have been unsuccessful in convincing the Republican-led Legislature to make changes to the state’s laws restricting abortion.

A lawsuit has been filed regarding Kentucky’s strict ban on abortions, which includes a near-total ban and a six-week ban. Both bans were passed by Republican majority legislatures. The near-total ban, passed in 2019, only allows abortions in cases where the patient’s life is at risk or to prevent a disabling injury. It does not make exceptions for cases of rape or incest. The ban went into effect in 2022 after the landmark Roe v. Wade decision was overturned.


Kruesi wrote this report from Nashville, Tennessee. Paul J. Weber, a reporter for the Associated Press in Austin, Texas, also contributed to this story.