The ACLU of Kentucky’s Reproductive Freedom Project is dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive rights for all Kentuckians through education, advocacy, and litigation.
Where We Stand Today
Without the federal protections of Roe and Casey, the fight for abortion access has moved to the state level. Rest assured; ACLU-KY is prepared for this moment. With abortion access and the future of reproductive freedom at the edge of a precipice, we call on all Kentuckians to join us and fight back at the courts, ballot box, and state house.
Following the SCOTUS decision, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced the commonwealth’s trigger ban was in effect, and elective abortion care ended. Our ACLU-KY legal team, in partnership with the national ACLU and Planned Parenthood, immediately filed an emergency restraining order in state court arguing the Kentucky Constitution provides the rights to privacy, bodily autonomy, and self-determination. A judge granted the restraining order and abortion care resumed until the Kentucky Supreme Court lifted the restraining order. Abortion is currently banned in the commonwealth.
In addition to our efforts in the courthouse, we are also focused on defeating Constitutional Amendment 2, which will appear on every Kentuckian’s ballot this November. The amendment would permanently alter Kentucky’s constitution to allow no protections for abortion care, no matter the circumstance. ACLU-KY is proudly working alongside Black Birth Workers Alliance, Fairness Campaign, Kentucky Health Justice Network, the Kentucky Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Planned Parenthood, Sexy Sex Ed, and Sister Song under the umbrella of Protect Kentucky Access (PKA). We are gearing up to knock on approximately 150,000 doors in Kentucky to ensure Kentuckians vote NO on amendment 2.
In 1989, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the Webster decision, signaling that states would have greater ability to impose restrictions on access to abortion services. Recognizing the need for full-time staff resources dedicated to pro-choice advocacy work, the ACLU of Kentucky Reproductive Freedom Project (RFP) was founded under the guidance of Suzy Post, then executive director of the ACLU of Kentucky.
The RFP has a lobbying arm for state Reproductive Freedom issues.
- We coordinate volunteer lobbyists.
- Develop message points and strategy.
- Arrange testimony before committees.
The National ACLU and the ACLU of Kentucky have been involved in litigation for nearly all abortion rights case in Kentucky over the past four decades.
The RFP, in concert with other groups, organizes public educational forums such as:
- “Talking About Abortion” workshops to help people become more comfortable discussing the highly charged issue.
- Training for volunteer lobbyists.
- Presentations to classes, student groups, faith-based organizations and various civic organizations.
How Can You Get Involved
DONATE Contribute financially to the work of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project.
SPEAK OUT Join the ACLU Action Alert List to learn about legislation affecting reproductive freedom and how to call or write your elected officials. Or come lobby with us during the annual sessions of the Kentucky General Assembly.
RAISE AWARENESS Host one of our educational presentations.
In Kentucky, if you are under 18 and have never been married you must have the consent of a parent or a judge before you can have an abortion.
If you decide to have an abortion and you cannot tell one of your parents, you have the right to get a court order from a judge.
It is very important to know your legal rights if you decide to seek a court order. You have the right to:
- A Speedy Process: The judge must reach a decision quickly, within 72 hours (3 days) of when your case is filed in court. Often, the judge will decide immediately.
- A Lawyer: If you don’t have a lawyer, the court must appoint one. It is best to go to court with a lawyer. The clinic can help get you a lawyer.
- Free Court Costs: If you sign a form saying you can’t pay court costs, you won’t have to pay for either the court costs or the lawyer.
- Confidentiality: No one should ever know you have been to court asking for permission to get an abortion. You have a legal right to go to court instead of telling a parent about your decision to have an abortion.
- Answers to Questions: There should be someone in the circuit or district court clerk’s office who can answer your questions, either in person by phone. Never hesitate to ask questions. Your lawyer also can answer your questions.
If you are pregnant and unsure of what you want to do, you can call one of the organizations listed here for help. Counselors at a family planning clinic or the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice can help you decide. You don’t need a parent’s permission to see a counselor. These services are confidential.
Whatever choice you make about your pregnancy, these organizations and clinics are there to provide help and support because they care about your safety and well-being. Whatever choice you make, you do not have to go through the process alone.
These organizations provide information, counseling, birth control, and family planning services:
Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky
Planned Parenthood in Lexington-(859) 252-8494
Planned Parenthood in Louisville-(502) 584-2473
These organizations provide information about referrals:
Kentucky Health Justice Network 1-855-576-4576
The Kentucky Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice-866-606-0988