Case: EMW Women's Surgical Center v. Cameron

22-CI-3225 | Kentucky state trial court

Filed Date: June 27, 2022

Closed Date: June 27, 2023

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This case is about Kentucky's Trigger Ban (KRS 311.772) and Six-Week Ban (KRS 311.7701) prohibiting abortion following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Org. to overturn Roe v. Wade. On June 27, 2022, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and the EMW Women's Surgical Center brought suit against the state in the Jefferson Circuit Court in the State of Kentucky, claiming that the statutes violate state constitutional rights to privacy and self-determination. Plaintiffs …

This case is about Kentucky's Trigger Ban (KRS 311.772) and Six-Week Ban (KRS 311.7701) prohibiting abortion following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Org. to overturn Roe v. Wade. On June 27, 2022, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and the EMW Women's Surgical Center brought suit against the state in the Jefferson Circuit Court in the State of Kentucky, claiming that the statutes violate state constitutional rights to privacy and self-determination. Plaintiffs sought (1) declaratory relief that the Kentucky trigger ban is unconstitutional and unenforceable, (2) an injunction barring the state from enforcing the Trigger Ban and the Six-Week Ban, and (3) attorney fees and costs. This case was assigned to Jefferson County Circuit Judge Mitch Perry.

On June 29, 2022, the Court granted Plaintiffs' request for a restraining order, temporarily prohibiting the enforcement of the two abortion bans. Defendants appealed this restraining order to the Kentucky Court of Appeals and to the Supreme Court of Kentucky, who both denied the appeals.

Following this, on July 22, 2022, the Court granted a temporary injunction that blocked enforcement of the ban pending full resolution of the suit. The Court concluded that there was a substantial likelihood that these laws violate the rights to privacy, self-determination, equal protection, and religious freedom as protected by various sections of the Kentucky Constitution. The Court also held that the trigger ban was likely an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority and unconstitutionally vague.

Defendants appealed this injunction to the Kentucky Court of Appeals on July 28, 2020, seeking an emergency stay. This appeal was granted on August 1, 2022, dissolving the injunction and allowing the abortion bans to continue being enforced while litigation takes place. The Court granted the stay, because it concluded that Defendants would suffer irreparable injury under the injunction by not being able to enforce the law and because abortions completed under the injunction cannot be undone. The Court did note that its order should not be construed to limit medical providers’ ability to act to protect maternal health.

In response to the stay, Plaintiffs filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Kentucky on August 2, 2022. On August 18, 2022, the Supreme Court of Kentucky agreed to hear oral arguments and set the hearing date for November 15, 2022. On February 16, 2023, the Supreme Court of Kentucky affirmed the decision of the appellate court to allow the abortion bans to be in effect as litigation continued. First, the court also concluded that the abortion providers lacked third-party standing to challenge either ban, but that they had first-person standing to challenge the trigger ban on behalf of themselves. The court then reasoned that the initial court had abused its discretion by incorrectly finding that the irreparable harm requirement was satisfied and by failing to start from the presumption that the bans were constitutionally enacted when balancing the equities. 664 S.W.3d 633. 

Following the remand to the Circuit Court, both the plaintiffs and the defendants decided to dismiss the case. On June 20, 2023, the plaintiffs filed a motion to dismiss and on June 27, 2023, Judge Perry dismissed the case without prejudice. 2023 WL 5392436. The case is now closed and abortion remains banned in the state of Kentucky. 

Summary Authors

Kathleen Lok (10/28/2022)

Kathleen Lok (3/13/2023)

Kavitha Babu (2/6/2024)

People


Judge(s)
Attorney for Plaintiff

Amiri, Brigitte A. (New York)

Bajramovic, Hana (New York)

Attorney for Defendant

Albini, Courtney (Kentucky)

Expert/Monitor/Master/Other

Abate, Michael P. (Kentucky)

Beauman, Bryan Howard (Kentucky)

show all people

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

22-CI-3225

Verified Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief

June 27, 2022

June 27, 2022

Complaint

22-CI-3225

Restraining Order

June 29, 2022

June 29, 2022

Order/Opinion

2022 WL 2022

22-CI-3225

Opinion & Order Granting Temporary Injunction

July 22, 2022

July 22, 2022

Order/Opinion

2022-CA-0906-I

Order Granting Motion for Emergency Relief

Cameron v. EMW Women's Surgical Center

Kentucky state appellate court

Aug. 1, 2022

Aug. 1, 2022

Order/Opinion

2022-SC-0329-TG

Plaintiffs-Appellants’ Motion for Emergency Interlocutory Relief Pursuant to Civil Rule 65.09

Kentucky state supreme court

Aug. 2, 2022

Aug. 2, 2022

Pleading / Motion / Brief

2022-SC-0329-TG

Opinion and Order

Kentucky state supreme court

Aug. 18, 2022

Aug. 18, 2022

Order/Opinion

2022 WL 2022

2022-SC-0329-TG

Opinion of the Court by Justice Lambert Affirming and Remanding

Kentucky state supreme court

Feb. 16, 2023

Feb. 16, 2023

Order/Opinion

664 S.W.3d 664

22-CI-3225

Agreed Order of Dismissal

June 27, 2023

June 27, 2023

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 30, 2023, 1:27 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Kentucky

Case Type(s):

Reproductive Issues

Special Collection(s):

Abortion Trigger Ban Cases

Key Dates

Filing Date: June 27, 2022

Closing Date: June 27, 2023

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Planned Parenthood (a non-profit service organization that provides reproductive health and family planning services), EMW Women's Surgical Center (a private medical facility providing abortion care), and a medical employee of EMW.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Closely-held (for profit) corporation

Non-profit NON-religious organization

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU National (all projects)

ACLU Affiliates (any)

Planned Parenthood Federation of America

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Attorney General, State

Secretary of Kentucky's Cabinet for Health and Family Services, State

Executive Director of the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure, State

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Facility Type(s):

Government-run

Non-government non-profit

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Available Documents:

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Order Duration: 2022 - 2022

Issues

Reproductive rights:

Abortion

Cardiac activity legislation

Complete abortion ban

Criminalization

Reproductive health care (including birth control, abortion, and others)

Time-based abortion prohibition