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4D Ultrasound

yawning infant

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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

Learn about Kentucky’s Dismemberment Law.

KRLA Forum

In the going-on-nearly-three-years legal challenge to Kentucky’s Ultrasound Law (HB2) of 2017, a new document was filed in late October. Due to the General Election focus, we initially missed this announcement by Gov. Bevin.

Plaintiffs did not accept the victory for the Ultrasound Law that the Sixth Circuit Appeals Court handed down last April, and asked the Court for an “en banc” review of the decision. The Court declined, so Plaintiffs asked SCOTUS to issue a Writ of Certiorari. That would force the entire “bench” of the Sixth Circuit to review the decision.

The attorneys in Bevin’s Administration and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services who are defending the law, since AG Beshear refused to, filed an opposing brief in late October, asking that the petition for the Writ be denied. Their brief delineates the issue:

The “Question Presented” that is viewed as requiring “better judgment” is: Whether the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment prohibits the Commonwealth of Kentucky from regulating the practice of medicine by requiring a medical professional, prior to performing a medical procedure, to provide the patient with information that is truthful, non-misleading, and relevant to the procedure.

Kentucky’s 33-page brief explains why there is no Circuit conflict over the question and no recurring question it needs to resolve, and that the Appeals Court ruling is correct.

They point out that the petitioners (EMW) argue that HB2 is not an informed-consent law. They say a disclosure requirement cannot be considered valid unless it is consistent with the informed-consent preferences of special interest groups like the National Abortion Federation and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

The link to the brief is in the bulletin from Gov. Bevin, shared above.

Our pro-life attorney team has done a superb job of summing up for SCOTUS what is going on in the case. But, with the General Election results, will this wonderful team be in place to address any new challenges? If not, we want to again commend them for their dedicated work to save lives. If AG-elect Daniel Cameron is called on to complete their work, we wish him Godspeed.

Cameron has appointed Steve Pitt, Gov. Bevin's General Counsel, as his counsel and special advisor. Attorney Pitt served as chief litigator for Kentucky's Defense against the legal suits challenging our pro-life laws.


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The Dismemberment Abortion bill that became law in spring 2018 is still in the court system. After being overturned at the District Court in Louisville last May, it was appealed to the Sixth Circuit Court. In mid-September, a flurry of Amicus Briefs were filed on behalf of EMW.

During the trial in Louisville, Defense (Ky) had argued that three methods could be used for humane fetal demise in place of tearing limbs off babies while they are alive. Plaintiffs vigorously argued that none of those— the KCl injection, Digoxin injection, nor the umbilical cord transection— was suitable, for numerous reasons. The Amicus briefs uphold the court arguments.

The first Amicus was submitted by:

  • THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF OBSTETRICIANS AND GYNECOLOGISTS (ACOG)
  • THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (AMA)
  • THE NORTH AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR PEDIATRIC AND ADOLESCENT GYNECOLOGY (NASPG)
  • THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF NURSE PRACTITIONERS IN WOMEN’S HEALTH (NPWH)
  • THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF NURSE-MIDWIVES (ACNM) and
  • THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF OSTEOPATHIC OBSTETRICIANS AND GYNECOLOGISTS (ACOOG)

Whew! That’s a lot of friends. If only these associations were friends of humankind, born and unborn.

They argue that the Commonwealth’s proposed demise methods are invasive, additionally risky, medically unnecessary, experimental, and unreliable, among other points. All of these were refuted by the Defense during the trial.

The second Amicus was submitted by numerous states, including:

  • NEW YORK, CALIFORNIA, COLORADO, CONNECTICUT, DELAWARE, HAWAI‘I, ILLINOIS, MARYLAND, MASSACHUSETTS, MICHIGAN, MINNESOTA, NEVADA, NEW MEXICO, OREGON, PENNSYLVANIA, VERMONT, VIRGINIA, and WASHINGTON, and the DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

This brief has a number of undue burden reasons.

The third was submitted by the

  • SOCIETY FOR MATERNAL-FETAL MEDICINE

Sounds so motherly.

Its main point is that the Potassium Chloride (KCl) injection method is not feasible in an abortion clinic. This was also refuted during the trial.

For background on this case, see here. An Amicus was filed by 16 states on behalf of Kentucky last July.


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The Supreme Court declined to hear an Alabama Dismemberment Abortion case on Friday, June 28. This case had been strengthened by an Amicus brief presented on behalf of 21 states through our Governor Bevin.

The Kentucky Legislature passed a law in 2018 to ban Dismemberment Abortion which was challenged in court by the EMW/ACLU, and they won. Background on this case is here.

Gov. Bevin has appealed to the Sixth Circuit to reverse the decision to strike the law, and has vowed to appeal to SCOTUS should the current appeal be denied.

In regard to the Alabama case, Justice Clarence Thomas commented that “…justices should not keep refusing to hear abortion cases…”

The below NRLC graphic shows that two states, Mississippi and West Virginia, currently support Dismemberment Abortion bans. This demonstrates that legislatures and judges do rule favorably on this issue, but not in all states where legislation is passed.

dismemberment_nrlc.png

In Kentucky we have a pro-life legislature but are frequently disappointed by the court system.

Let’s pray for a favorable outcome on the current Appeal, which we may very well see, based on the successful Ultrasound Law Appeal and the refusal of the Sixth Circuit to re-hear that case. (See previous post.)


KRLA Forum
FRANKFORT, Ky. | Friday, June 28, 2019

In a major pro-life victory for Gov. Matt Bevin and the people of the Commonwealth, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit today denied EMW Women's Surgical Center's petition for rehearing of the House Bill 2 ultrasound case.

In April, the Sixth Circuit upheld the constitutionality of HB 2 (2017), which requires an abortion provider to provide mothers with an ultrasound and a description of what it depicts, as well as the opportunity to hear the fetal heartbeat, before she chooses to terminate her pregnancy.

Earlier this month, the Louisville abortion clinic asked the Court to rehear the case en banc (before the entire bench) in a desperate attempt to undermine the Kentucky law, which passed with the support of more than 87 percent of state legislators.

Read more.

The Courier-Journal quoted the ACLU attorney from NY who called the law ‘medically unnecessary’ and not supported by medical groups including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Medical Association. Read more.

In the linked video, Gov. Bevin discusses the victory!


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On June 11 the Bevin Administration filed a court document to oppose the petition filed by the EMW Clinic and ACLU challenging the successful Appeal that enforced HB 2, Kentucky’s Ultrasound Law.

EMW/ACLU wants their “do-over” case to be heard by the full court of judges— 28 in all.

Steve Pitt, General Counsel for Gov. Bevin, has stated:

"Rehearing a case en banc is an extraordinary legal procedure, not simply a flippant opportunity for a do-over. In this case, the panel majority faithfully applied the relevant Supreme Court precedent to determine that the legislation at issue is constitutional. Thus, granting en banc rehearing is neither warranted under the rules nor a useful investment of the Court's time.”

Read more.

Read the response of Adam Meier, Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, to the EMW/ACLU appeal here.

AG Beshear has refused to be involved in the case.



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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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