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Whodunit? Kentucky Cops Probe Source of Leaked Abortion Opinion

Posted Jun 29, 2011 6:35 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Kentucky police are investigating a mystery involving a leaked Kentucky appeals opinion on minors’ abortion rights.

The once-secret opinion allows minor girls from other states to ask Kentucky judges for permission to have abortions without their parents’ consent, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports. The newspaper published a story about the decision last January.

The author of the opinion, Chief Court of Appeals Judge Jeff Taylor, acknowledges he sought the investigation. Some judges told the newspaper Taylor acted over their objections.

Taylor didn’t comment on why he contacted police, but other judges told the Courier-Journal he was concerned that the Indiana girl who sought the abortion could be identified because the opinion used her initials. The newspaper did not publish the initials in its report.

The Courier-Journal has refused to identify the source, citing the state's shield law. The secret opinion was issued under a state law and court rules allowing minor girls to appeal abortion decisions anonymously, the story says.

Story updated at 8:45 a.m. to say state law and court rules allow the anonymous opinions.

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