The Kentucky Supreme Court on Aug. 18 rejected a request by abortion providers to block state laws that ban most abortions.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a Republican, is on the other side in the case.
Justice Michelle Keller, concurring, said that both sides presented compelling arguments but that the court should only decide which side is correct after receiving more information in briefs and oral arguments.
"In order to accelerate this review, we reluctantly concur with the result reached by the plurality of this Court," she said, joined by Justice Christopher Nickell.
Chief Justice John Minton Jr., joined by Justice Lisabeth Hughes, said civil rules don't define "extraordinary cause" but believe the parties demonstrated through claims of an abuse of discretion by the appeals court, and because the matters at hand affect people across the state.
"Failure to find extraordinary cause justifying interlocutory review under the circumstances presented here would constitute this Court dodging its responsibility to settle legal issues of great legal importance facing the Commonwealth," Minton said, adding that the appeals court did abuse its discretion by not showing "any deference" to findings by a circuit court, which had blocked the bans.
ReactionsCameron backed the rejection.
"Today, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled that abortion clinics in Kentucky should remain closed until our case is decided," he said in a statement.
"This is a win for life. We will never waver in our defense of the unborn," he added.
Abortion providers decried the ruling.
“The Supreme Court’s decision to allow Kentucky’s abortion bans to remain in effect puts nearly a million people’s health care in jeopardy," Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement.
"Abortion is not only health care but also a critical individual freedom. Make no mistake: abortion bans result in tragic health outcomes and are a form of control over our bodies. Despite this setback, the fight continues. We will proceed with our case to restore and protect reproductive freedom in Kentucky. Politicians and the government should never have the authority to force a person to remain pregnant against their will.”