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Supreme Court lets Kentucky attorney general take over defense of state’s abortion law


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NBC News

Pete Williams

Mar. 3 2022

The Supreme Court ruled 8-1 on Thursday that Kentucky’s Republican attorney general can pick up the legal fight over a restrictive abortion law that the state’s Democratic governor no longer wishes to defend.

Already this term, the court has allowed a Texas abortion law, the strictest in the nation, to remain in force. And it has yet to rule on a case from Mississippi with much higher stakes, which presents a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade.

Thursday’s case also involved the issue of abortion, but the ruling was about a different question: Who can represent a state in court after there’s been a shift in the political landscape?

The law at issue, which Kentucky’s legislature passed in 2018, would ban the use of a surgical abortion procedure commonly used after the 13th week of pregnancy. Immediately after the law was signed by the former governor, Republican Matt Bevin, a Louisville women’s surgical center challenged it in court.


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