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PHOTO CREDITS: 4D Ultrasound of fetal yawning at 30 weeks of pregnancy by Dr. Wolfgang Moroder. Baby yawning by Jeuwre. Human fetus at 10 weeks.

10 week old fetus

fetus at 10 weeks

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KRLA Forum

Numerous well-wishers, some pictured below, stopped in to the Right to Life office on December 30 to wish John Graham well in his retirement. He is pictured in the center of the photo.

john_graham_retirement.jpg

John joined Right to Life of Louisville and KRLA in February 1994. He has served the RTL Educational Foundation of Kentucky, KRLA, Louisville RTL, and all people and needs of the local office in Louisville.

He and his wife, Jeanne, are retiring in Elizabethtown, near their children and grandchildren.

Thank you, John, for your devoted and kind service over so many years.


KRLA Forum
Eighth in a Series: Pro-life Laws Under Attack

A New Year’s Prediction: Perhaps the legal case against Kentucky’s Heartbeat and Anti-Eugenics Law will not be decided before Spring 2020.

In a document filed on December 16, 2019 by the Plaintiffs, it is revealed that an ‘En Banc’ review of Ohio’s Preterm-Cleveland v. Himes case has been granted by the Sixth Circuit Appeals Court. The Preterm-Cleveland case was cited by our attorneys in document 47 as relevant to Kentucky’s when Ohio appealed for a ‘full-bench’ (en banc) hearing after the Appellate Court upheld the preliminary injunction against it.

Some background

In 2018, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood of America filed a suit on behalf of several abortion clinics and their patients to challenge HB214, the Ohio law that prohibits abortion if based on a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome. They argued that the law imposes an unconstitutional burden on patients seeking abortions. ReWire News reported:

On March 14, 2018, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black issued a preliminary injunction blocking the law, ruling that Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Roe v. Wade bars states from prohibiting pregnant people “from making the ultimate decision to terminate [their] pregnancy before viability.”

On October 11, 2019, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court order blocking the law, ruling that it “unconstitutionally inhibits pre-viability abortions based on a woman’s reason for seeking abortion.” Ohio has sought a rehearing en banc.

Ohio’s request was granted on December 13, and the oral argument is scheduled for March 11, 2020. It seems likely that Judge Hale may wait for that opinion before issuing a decision on the Heartbeat and Anti-eugenics laws.

We await new documents to be filed, and will add a post to this series when that occurs.


KRLA Forum

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Seventh in a Series: Pro-life Laws Under Attack

On December 9, due to the 2019 general election results, all but one of the wonderful attorneys who have defended the Heartbeat and Anti-eugenics laws ‘withdrew as counsel’ from the case. Some are now employed under new AG Daniel Cameron. Currently, only Attorney Catherine York is on the job, and we are not privy to how things may develop from here.

So far, the Commonwealth wants: (partial summary)

  • Discovery for HB5, to determine the practice and prevalence of race-, sex-, and disability-based abortions and the state’s interest in stopping these; and for SB9 to bring to light facts on viability that would show it is a moving marker and therefore unreliable
  • For the Court to deny EMW’s motion for Summary Judgment on HB5 since no previous case has determined whether a state can ban race-, sex-, and disability-selective abortions. “Roe and Casey focused on women who do not want a child at all, not on women who want a child as long as he or she has certain characteristics.” (This is changing; see previous post. -ed). Also, HB5 protects the medical profession so doctors will be viewed as healers not as facilitators of discrimination. HB5 combats eugenics which is an international trend at present.
  • For the Court to deny EMW’s motion for Summary Judgment on SB9 which is not a “6-week Ban” but rather shows compelling interest of Kentucky in the lives of its unborn children. The fetal heartbeat is the key medical marker that, unlike the old viability marker, does not move; it is a stable, universally recognized sign of life and important milestone in an unborn child’s growth. It is not detectable at 6 weeks but rather at 8 to 10 (from LMP) by transabdominal ultrasound. (emphasis added)

Numerous affidavits were attached to this Document in support of the Defendant’s arguments which were demanded to be struck by Plaintiffs who insisted they were Discovery.

Kentucky argued that Plaintiffs had also provided Discovery by their statement (Doc 4) from an EMW abortionist who claimed that she could not serve patients and had to turn away one with a fetal anomaly. Thus, their request for Summary Judgment was based on a “verified” complaint, which is the same as Discovery. Our attorneys were not ‘born yesterday’.

They noted that the EMW attorneys did not file for Summary Judgment based on the pleadings, in which case Secy. Meier could have been prevented from offering evidence, but rather cited its own verified complaint and a declaration, which allowed Secy. Meier to offer competing evidence.

Nevertheless, the affidavits in support of Kentucky’s arguments were ordered removed, and Plaintiffs continued to argue:

  • As the Supreme Court and every other court to consider a pre-viability abortion ban has held, there is no state interest strong enough to overcome a woman’s decision to obtain an abortion before viability. Defendant’s arguments to the contrary are nothing more than attempts to improperly re-litigate the well-settled constitutional right to abortion, and they should be rejected…
  • Both Bans Are Unconstitutional Under Supreme Court Precedent That Categorically Prohibits States From Banning Pre-Viability Abortions. …The Court is instructed to strike Defendant’s improper expert declarations from the record and deny his request for Discovery.

Many of the documents on PACER are lengthy. The reason for this blog series is to explain briefly (relatively) to Kentuckians what has become of our pro-life bills that our Legislature passed.


KRLA Forum
Sixth in a Series: Pro-life Laws Under Attack

A strategy of pro-lifers in pursuing bills that address varying aspects of abortion is to roll back Roe v. Wade incrementally but surely.

The goal of reducing the number of abortions is perfectly met in HB5 and SB9.

The Plaintiffs state in documents 5 and 6 that SB9 would result in prohibiting 90% of the abortions in the Commonwealth by banning abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected. This may be an exaggeration.

EMW admits the 6 week LMP fetal heartbeat can only be detected by transvaginal ultrasound; SB9 only requires a standard medical procedure to detect the heartbeat. Thus, it prevents abortion of babies 8 to 10 weeks old. At 10 weeks the unborn child closely resembles the overall shape of a newborn baby though much smaller. (See image in left column on this page.) Thus, SB9 anchors Kentucky’s interest in prenatal life to immutable characteristics of humanity rather than a judicially invented construct. (emphasis added)

Currently EMW aborts approximately 3000+ babies each year. To reduce that number by the percent noted, there would be only 300 abortions — still far too many. But it is a step in the right direction, just as the Fetal Pain bill that passed in 2017 reduced the number because it narrowed the window for abortion to 20 weeks, which had been 23 at EMW.

At this writing there are 51 documents in view on the PACER website, with the latest filed by the Plaintiffs on December 16, 2019. Doc 48 suggests to Judge Hale that a current case, SisterSong v. Kemp (Georgia’s Heartbeat Law), has recently been updated to permit only limited discovery for the defendant, and that a federal district court preliminarily enjoined Alabama’s near-total ban on abortion on Oct 29 (2019).

Doc 50, filed on December 12, cites the wording in the SisterSong v. Kemp case that “[t]he Supreme Court has repeatedly and unequivocally held that under no circumstances whatsoever may a state prohibit or ban abortions prior to viability, no matter what the state asserts to support it.”

Plaintiffs also attached the Georgia Judge’s order, which also states that the State Defendants are permitted in limited discovery to “rely upon ‘legislative facts,’ which are ‘of the type that reviewing courts often rely upon in considering whether constitutional precedents should be overturned….’ ” By attaching this order, it would seem that the Plaintiffs do not believe that Judge Hale will overturn a SCOTUS precedent.

The reason the SisterSong case was cited is that Kentucky’s attorneys argued against Summary Judgment prior to Discovery in part based on that case which initially had specified no limitation to Discovery.

Kentucky has argued for Judge Hale to deny the Plaintiffs’ motion for Summary Judgment based on:

  • Plaintiffs’ inadequate reasons why the Court should deny/overturn the will of Kentuckians shown in the two statutes
  • Discovery has been denied such that defendants —the Commonwealth— cannot fully defend its laws
  • Though the viability standard was established long ago, it has since been questioned in suits such as Casey, which noted: “facts have so changed, or come to be seen so differently, as to have robbed the old rule of significant application or justification.”

Indeed! What if 4D ultrasounds had been around in 1973? Though ultrasound technology had first been used in the mid-1950s in Scotland, it was well into the 1970s before it became widely used in American hospitals.


KRLA Forum
Christina Francis, MD and Donna Harrison, MD | aaplog.org | Dec 11 2019

A study just published in the Green Journal (Journal of the American College of OB/GYN’s) was terminated early due to supposed safety concerns. This study was aimed at examining the efficacy and safety of a now well used protocol for abortion pill rescue (or APR). APR provides the possibility to save the unborn child if women change their mind after taking the first medication (mifepristone) of two that are involved with a medication abortion. After having three patients enrolled in the study require ambulance transfer — two of whom required emergency surgery with one also requiring a transfusion — the authors stopped the study due to “safety concerns”. However, a more thorough review of their data tells a different story.

First, what they fail to emphasize is the difference in the women who required transfer. Two out of the three patients were from the placebo group – not the group that received progesterone (the APR group)

Read more. | Pdf

Please also see the KRLA Forum article on Kentucky’s new law that requires abortionists to inform patients about the Abortion Reversal Pill.



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Kentucky Right to Life

Kentucky's largest and oldest right to life organization and the official state affiliate of the National Right to Life Committee

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