Laws Under Fire
The significance of the EMW Clinic suit against the State of Kentucky to overturn HB 454, the “Dismemberment Abortion” bill, is easy to understand. Point 23 of their Complaint states that D&E abortions account for more than 95% of second trimester abortions nationally. We assume EMW's percentage is no different. This would severely affect their practice.
Point 1 says: This is a constitutional challenge to a profoundly harmful statute that is plainly unconstitutional under binding Supreme Court and Sixth Circuit authority, and that is inflicting acute and irreparable harm on Kentuckians each and every hour it remains in effect.
The new law being challenged stops access to abortion at and after 11 weeks of pregnancy, but according to the court document, the time frame is 15 weeks (point 1).
The trial was held November 13-16 and Nov. 19, 2018. Two defendants, Attorney General Beshear and Michael Rodman, Exec. Dir. of Ky. Board of Medical Licensure, were dismissed without prejudice. Governor Bevin defended HB 454 but our AG Andy Beshear refused to.
EMW was represented by local firm Ackerson & Yann PSC, the ACLU of Ky Foundation and the ACLU Foundation (NY), both 501c3 orgs. Two ACLUs = more legal resources.
An Amicus Brief filed on 2-24-19 requested clarification on whether a state ban on dismemberment abortions is unconstitutional where there is a reasonable medical debate that alternatives to the banned procedure are safe.
Judge McKinley has ruled the law to be unconstitutional and Governor Bevin promised to appeal it "all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary." The Sixth Circuit Court heard the Appeal on January 29, 2020, and Attorney General Daniel Cameron repeated Gov. Bevin's promise, and went to work in stating his interest to appeal the case. Read more.
On March 29, 2021, SCOTUS announced it will hear the Ky case! The Ballotpedia site outlines the specifics of the case which SCOTUS will hear in October 2021. The question presented is: Whether a state attorney general vested with the power to defend state law should be permitted to intervene after a federal court of appeals invalidates a state statute when no other state actor will defend the law.
An article on the NRLC blog has full information on the Brief filed by AG Cameron on June 14, 2021.
Let’s pray for an end to D&E abortions.
The video was shown by Rep. Addia Wuchner, District 66, as part of her endorsement of HB 454, to the House committee responsible to send the bill to the House floor for a vote. It was very convincing.