Ky. lawyer goes viral for offering free legal help after abortion ruling

A lawyer from a small town in eastern Kentucky has joined the fight to protect reproductive rights, a move she didn’t quite expect until she went viral on Twitter — for offering free legal services.

On June 24, Michelle Lawson tweeted, “​I will provide pro Bono services to women in Kentucky if they are prosecuted for providing or obtaining an abortion,” a message she sent out the same day the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Waderuling that abortion is no longer a constitutional right and allowing states to determine the legality of the procedure.

The response to Lawson’s offer comes as pro-abortion advocates and those opposed to the court’s ruling are launching efforts nationwide to ensure that abortion access remains widely available.

Kentucky is one of the more than a dozen states with so-called trigger laws, which take effect and ban or severely restrict abortion with the repeal of Roe. The state passed the Human Life Protection Act in 2019, which went into effect on Friday after the ruling. The state law prohibits abortions in most circumstances, and no person may knowingly cause or aid people in “the termination of the life of an unborn human being.”

The law was temporarily halted Thursday by a judge after pro-abortion-rights groups banded together to fight it in court. Close to 200 women with appointments at a Louisville clinic had been turned away since the Supreme Court’s ruling, but now the procedures have been allowed to resume.

Attorney Michelle Lawson.

Attorney Michelle Lawson. (Courtesy: Michelle Lawson)

Lawson, a Hazard, Ky.-based attorney, expected a few people who might have needed her services to reach out, but she didn’t expect to get 13,000 retweets and more than 35,000 likes on her post. She was “surprised” by the response.

“For me, I think when you have national news

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