After Friday’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, effectively ending abortion access in Kentucky, the ACLU of Kentucky and Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates held a press conference and rally on Friday afternoon outside of the Gene Snyder Federal Building (601 W Broadway) downtown.
Hundreds gathered with pro choice signs, and speakers included U.S. Senate candidate Charles Booker, Democratic mayoral nominee Craig Greenberg, Mayor Greg Fischer, state Rep. Keturah Herron, as well as representatives from Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and several other organizations protesting the decision. From the Gene Snyder Federal Building, protesters marched to Louisville Metro Hall for another rally.
The SCOTUS ruling means there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion, which sets off a Kentucky “trigger law” that effectively ends abortion access in the state.
Kentucky’s law, which was passed in 2019, bans abortions except in order to prevent the death or serious risk of death of a pregnant woman. Under Kentucky’s trigger law, any person who performs an abortion or provides medication to terminate a pregnancy can be charged with a Class D felony, which is punishable by up to five years in prison.
The ACLU of Kentucky said in a statement that its Louisville-based client, EMW Women’s Surgical Center, has stopped providing care while the group analyzes the court’s opinion. The ACLU of Kentucky also said it plans to file a lawsuit in state court arguing the Kentucky Constitution allows for the legal right to access abortion.| Photos by Kathryn Harrington