Attorneys for Kentucky woman seeking abortion withdraw lawsuit

Dec 18, 2023, 7:55 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Attorneys for a Kentucky woman who filed a lawsuit demanding the right to an abortion have withdrawn the lawsuit after the woman learned her embryo no longer has cardiac activity.

In a court filing Sunday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky told a judge they will “voluntarily dismiss” the lawsuit filed Dec. 8.

Lawyers for the woman pointed to a Kentucky Supreme Court decision earlier this year that said abortion providers cannot sue on behalf of their patients, limiting the legal actions to individuals seeking an abortion. The lawsuit had sought class-action status.

“The court’s decision has forced Kentuckians seeking abortion to bring a lawsuit while in the middle of seeking time-sensitive health care, a daunting feat, and one that should not be necessary to reclaim the fundamental right to control their own bodies,” The ACLU of Kentucky said in a release Monday. The attorneys said they would continue to look for possible plaintiffs.

The case — Jane Doe, et al. v. Daniel Cameron, et al. — was filed on behalf of an anonymous woman who was about eight weeks pregnant. Last week, just a few days after the suit was filed, lawyers sent notice that the embryo no longer had a heartbeat.

The flurry of individual women petitioning a court for permission for an abortion is the latest development since Roe v. Wade was overturned last year by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Kentucky case was similar to a legal battle taking place in Texas, where Kate Cox, a pregnant woman with a likely fatal condition, launched an unprecedented challenge against one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the nation.

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Attorneys for Kentucky woman seeking abortion withdraw lawsuit