Kentucky on Thursday became the first state in the United States to completely stop performing abortions in its clinics, after a law with multiple restrictions on the voluntary termination of pregnancy went into effect.
The two clinics that still performed abortions in that southern state had to cancel their appointments for that medical service on Thursday due to the entry into force on Wednesday night of new legislation in the state.
“We will not be able to provide abortion services until a court intervenes, (if that happens),” Nicole Erwin, a Kentucky spokeswoman for the reproductive health organization Planned Parenthood, which runs one of the two clinics in the state, told Efe on Thursday. condition.
Patients who call that clinic from now on because they want an abortion will be able to have a first appointment there, but they will have to travel later to Indiana or other states where there is access to legal abortion to undergo the intervention, Erwin explained.
Kentucky hospitals perform a minuscule proportion of the state’s abortions — last year they performed 13 in total — and it’s unclear how the new law might impact them, but the vast majority of such procedures were performed out in clinics.
Both the Planned Parenthood clinic and the other remaining in the state, the independent EMW Women’s Surgical Center, filed lawsuits against Kentucky authorities in federal court on Thursday to try to immediately stop implementation of the law.
“This law creates numerous new and unnecessary requirements for those of us who provide abortions, and we cannot immediately comply with many of them,” indicates the Planned Parenthood lawsuit, to which Efe had access.
The legislation is based on another law promoted in Mississippi that would prohibit abortion from 15 weeks of gestation and that, although it has not yet entered into force, has attracted the attention of the Supreme Court of the United States, which will decide this year on she.
Kentucky law also prohibits abortion after 15 weeks of gestation, a reduction compared to 24 weeks contemplated in the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States in 1973, known as “Roe versus Wade.”
In addition to not containing exceptions for cases of incest or rape, the law – known as HB 3 – imposes new requirements that clinics cannot meet in the short term due to lack of means.
Among those demands is that of requiring that many patients who abort fill out “birth-death certificates”, and that the doctors who assist them inform the status of each intervention, including the abortion method, reported the specialized media The 19th.
Those details that doctors have to provide include biographical details of the person having an abortion and their sexual partner, including their race, ethnicity, age, place of residence and health data.
The new law also prohibits the use of telematic appointments to prescribe abortion medication and gives the state more power to audit clinics, in addition to creating a website that publishes the names of all doctors who perform abortions in the state.
Conservative leaders in Oklahoma and Florida this week also approved restrictions on abortion in those states, following in the footsteps of Texas, which in September imposed a ban from six weeks of gestation.