4 states moved to restrict abortion access this week

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Four states moved to curtail abortion access this week, with two of them advancing their own versions of a ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy — similar to the controversial Mississippi law before the US Supreme Court that’s set up a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade.

The only two clinics in Kentucky in which abortions are performed, Planned Parenthood and EMW Women’s Surgical Center, are separately suing to block a new state abortion law, saying it amounts to a de facto ban on abortions in Kentucky. The law bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, restricts access to medication abortion and enforces more requirements for minors to obtain abortions in the state.

The plaintiffs argue they can’t comply with the new law, claiming Kentucky hasn’t yet set up a system to meet its reporting requirements. “It is arbitrary and unconstitutional to enforce penalties for noncompliance while failing to provide a means of immediate compliance. Plaintiff, in fairness, must be granted time to comply with these sweeping changes to the provision of abortion care,” said the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Kentucky, on behalf of the EMW Women’s Surgical Center, in its lawsuit, adding that patients will now be unable to obtain abortions in Kentucky or forced to seek them out of the state, unless the court intervenes.