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Kentucky Woman Files Class-Action Lawsuit Against Two Abortion Bans

Kentucky Woman Files Class-Action Lawsuit Against Two Abortion Bans

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky woman filed a lawsuit today in Jefferson County Circuit Court challenging two of the Commonwealth’s abortion bans. The case details the severe harms that Jane Doe, who is approximately eight weeks pregnant, and a class of all pregnant Kentuckians seeking abortion are enduring because the government has denied her access to the care she needs.

Jane Doe brings the class action on behalf of all Kentuckians who are pregnant and seeking abortion to strike down these abortion bans, which have been in effect since August 2022, under the state constitutional right to privacy and self-determination.

The case — Jane Doe, et al. v. Daniel Cameron, et al. — was brought by Jane Doe and Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai‘i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, who are represented by attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Kentucky, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Craig Henry PLC, and O’Melveny & Myers LLP.

Statement from Jane Doe, lead plaintiff in class-action lawsuit:

“I am a proud Kentuckian and I love the life and family I have built here. But I am angry that now that I am pregnant and do not want to be, the government is interfering in my private matters and blocking me from having an abortion. This is my decision—not the government’s or any other person’s. I am bringing this lawsuit because I firmly believe that everyone should have the ability to make their own decisions about their pregnancies. I hope this case will restore abortion access in Kentucky, if not for me then for the countless people in the future who deserve the autonomy to decide what is best for themselves and their families.”

Statement from Brigitte Amiri, deputy director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project:

“Jane Doe should have the power to make decisions about her body, and to access essential health care in her community, but Kentucky politicians have denied her that fundamental right. Kentucky’s abortion bans violate the Kentucky Constitution, including its promise of protecting everyone’s right to privacy, which encompasses the right to access abortion. These bans have harmed countless Kentuckians since going into effect last year, and we are relieved to be back in court to try to restore abortion access in Kentucky. Jane Doe has tremendous courage to step forward, and we invite others to join her in the case as well.”

Statement from Amber Duke, executive director for the ACLU of Kentucky:

“We at the ACLU of Kentucky said we would not rest until access to abortion was restored in our commonwealth. Today, alongside our brave client Jane Doe, we renew our legal fight. Kentuckians have been forced to either travel hundreds of miles or carry pregnancies against their will, resulting in life-altering consequences and serious health risks over the past year. We know Kentuckians support access to legal, safe abortion care without government interference. They said so clearly when they soundly rejected anti-abortion Amendment 2. We hope for a victory that aligns with the will of the people and overturns these unconstitutional bans.”

Statement from Rebecca Gibron, CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawaii, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky:

“Jane Doe’s decision to fight back in court while pregnant and in need of an abortion is beyond brave. In challenging the state’s abortion bans, she has provided hope for reproductive freedom that Kentuckians so desperately need. But this lawsuit should not have been necessary in the first place. Every Kentuckian should have access to abortion in their own state, because this is essential reproductive health care. The right to privacy and self-determination should not be up for political debate, because Kentuckians believe that government does not belong in our medical decisions. Planned Parenthood is proud to fight alongside Jane Doe until abortion access is restored for people all across the Commonwealth.”

Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“Today, one courageous Kentuckian stood up not only for the right to control her own body, but for the right of every pregnant person in the state to do the same. While no Kentuckian should have to file a lawsuit to get an abortion, we are grateful that Jane Doe has. In doing so, she has said ‘enough is enough.’ Enough government interference in Kentuckians’ reproductive health decisions. Enough denying people access to care in their own communities. We are hopeful that this court will affirm Jane’s rights to privacy and self-determination, as promised in the state constitution, and allow her to get the care she needs. As this case moves forward, Planned Parenthood will continue to support patients seeking care, and we will continue fighting alongside them for reproductive freedom for all Kentuckians.”

The lawsuit comes just over a year after Kentuckians emphatically rejected an anti-abortion ballot measure that would have amended the state constitution to exclude the right to abortion.

A prior lawsuit on behalf of abortion providers representing their patients was filed in the days after Roe v. Wade was overturned challenging the same bans. After a trial court initially blocked the bans, Attorney General Daniel Cameron appealed the decision and a court allowed the bans to go into effect. The case ultimately made its way to the Supreme Court of Kentucky, which issued a ruling in February saying that abortion providers could not raise the constitutional rights of their patients in cases brought in Kentucky courts.

The complaint for Jane Doe, et al. v. Daniel Cameron, et al. can be found here.

The motion for class action can be found here.

The motion for leave for Jane Doe and others similarly situated to proceed under pseudonym can be found here.


For more than 100 years, the ACLU has worked in courts, legislatures, and communities to protect the constitutional rights of all people. With a nationwide network of offices and millions of members and supporters, the ACLU takes on the toughest civil liberties fights in pursuit of liberty and justice for all. For more information on the ACLU, visit www.aclu.org.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kentucky is freedom’s watchdog, working daily in the courts, legislature and communities to defend individual rights and personal freedoms. For additional information, visit our website at: www.aclu-ky.org.

Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai‘i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky (PPGNHAIK) is a leading sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate. The organization operates 35 health centers in Alaska, Hawai‘i, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, and Western Washington and provides medical services and sexuality education for thousands of people each year. Planned Parenthood is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and relies heavily on charitable donations to ensure our patients’ ability to determine their own destinies and receive the health care they need.

Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health care for all people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With nearly 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect, and without judgment, striving to create equitable access to health care. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable education and information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the independently incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates operating health centers across the U.S.

Originally published at https://www.aclu.org/press-releases/kentucky-woman-files-class-action-lawsuit-against-two-abortion-bans

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