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Learn about Kentucky’s Dismemberment Law.
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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.
Kentucky’s Dismemberment Abortion law that passed during the spring 2018 legislative session was blocked by the ACLU on behalf of the EMW Clinic. Background on case is here.
A bench trial to litigate the suit took place last November, and the May 2019 verdict was favorable to the EMW. The Bevin Administration appealed the case to the Federal Appeals Court in Cincinnati.
During the November trial in Louisville, the ACLU attorneys argued that Dilation & Evacuation (dismemberment) surgical abortion was the safest method. The state argued that digoxin, a drug that can be injected into the fetus to humanely end its life without pain, is also the safest method for the woman. D&E abortion requires many passes into the woman’s birth canal to grab and tear apart the limbs and torso of the live fetus.
Last week during the ‘historic criminal preliminary hearing’ for David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt regarding their investigative work that led to publishing YouTube videos to expose the sale of baby body parts, one doctor has testified that “didged babies delivered after days lying dead in the womb weren’t suitable [for baby parts].” This obviously can lead to testimony that procedures were altered to gain parts.
As well, the CEO of StemExpress admitted in court Thursday that her biotech company supplies beating fetal hearts and intact fetal heads to medical researchers. She had admitted at the preliminary hearing that the baby’s head could be procured attached to the baby’s body or “could be torn away.”
The videos that expose StemExpress are still on the CMP YouTube channel (one is below). Links to all the PP videos that had been removed for a time are provided in this LifeNews article.
The Supreme Court rejected Alabama’s Appeal to revisit D&E abortion and ban it, but if Kentucky’s current appeal at the Sixth Circuit Court fails, could SCOTUS view this issue in a new light?
An excellent Friend of the Court brief has been filed by 16 states in support of Kentucky’s Appeal to reverse the District Court decision not to uphold HB454, our law banning Dismemberment Abortion.
HB 454, which bans the brutal and grotesque practice of live dismemberment abortions, was passed by the 2018 Kentucky General Assembly with overwhelming bipartisan support from legislators and signed into law by Gov. Bevin. The ACLU and a Louisville abortion clinic quickly challenged the law, and a U.S. District judge in May ruled in their favor.
The attorneys general of Ohio, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia argue that the Sixth Circuit should reverse the District Court's erroneous opinion.
In their brief, the attorneys general assert that the District judge's ruling “misapplied the law in three ways”: 1) HB 454 does not place an undue burden on women seeking an abortion, 2) it does not place an undue burden on abortion providers, and 3) it should not have been struck down in its entirety by the lower court. (emphasis added)
Read the Amicus Brief here.
Recently, SCOTUS declined to review the Alabama Dismemberment Abortion case. Judge Clarence Thomas joined the progressives on this vote and noted in his concurrence: “Although this case does not present the opportunity to address our demonstrably erroneous ‘undue burden’ standard, we cannot continue blinking at the reality of what this Court has wrought.“
Judge Thomas pointed out that in previous rulings SCOTUS has given credence to abortion providers’ claims that other methods of abortion are too risky. Court precedents are roadblocks. The Alabama case did not present a way to re-argue the precedent.
Though the Alabama and Kentucky cases are very similar, the Amicus Brief on behalf of Kentucky’s law highlights the ‘undue burden’ legal hitch— Attention Judge Thomas!
KRLA staff and friends sat through the HB454 trial proceedings. We know that our state attorneys presented excellent arguments for why other methods of abortion are in fact LESS risky than D&E, since D&E requires MANY passes into the woman’s birth passage to grab and tear apart the baby’s limbs, whereas a single injection of digoxin will end the life of the fetus. No need to insert steel instruments into the woman’s body numerous times, risking injury to the uterus and more.
Somehow there was no time allotted for Kentucky’s expert witness who came to explain the needle guide that makes the digoxin injection simple and very safe. Our lead attorney Stephen Pitt strenuously objected. The Judge agreed his written testimony could be included in the summary filed following the trial.
So, should Kentucky’s HB454 case need to be appealed to SCOTUS, we believe that Judge Thomas and others may see a reason to revisit the ‘undue burden’ issue. Perhaps the confusion of the numerous suits and rulings have numbed all of us to the real issue at hand.
For any who may want to review the pro-life legislation that SCOTUS has considered since the appointment of Kavanaugh, see here.
The first “Baby Body Parts for Profit” video by David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress was released four years ago today.
The YouTube video exposé begins with a flashback to Connie Chung reporting on ABC’s 20/20 program: “Big money is being made from the sale of fetal body parts.” That was March 8, 2000.
Her statement was followed by Chris Wallace questioning Planned Parenthood president Gloria Feldt* about the practice. Feldt’s comment was: “Where there is wrongdoing, it should be prosecuted.”
As you can see from the narrative captured from the program, Wallace wants to know why a special syringe is used if a woman agrees to donate her fetus. Read the entire transcript here.
The practice of changing the abortion procedure, lengthening it, to get fetal parts, was furthered confirmed by the Center for Medical Progress investigation. David Daleiden who had formerly worked for LiveAction followed the lead of 20/20.
The ABC exposé was nearly 20 years ago; Daleiden’s was in 2015. Yet, just last month on June 18, Lindsey Graham and Chuck Grassley sent a letter to AG Barr and FBI Director Wray, demanding to know what has become of the fetal tissue (used to be “fetal body parts”) probe. They set a deadline of July 2 to hear a response. That was almost two weeks ago.
Maybe this will be the day we find out if justice will be served to those who broke laws, profiting from sales of human body parts, changing abortion procedures, and breaking other applicable laws including:
- Laws protecting human research subjects and patient privacy
- Laws regulating anatomical gifts for transplantation, therapy, research and education
- Laws protecting late-term and born-alive infants
- Laws pertaining to public funding for fetal tissue research and abortion providers.
For any who desire to read more in retrospect, the following links are provided. We also want to note that this subject matter is strongly related to Dismemberment Abortion.
Rep. Tim Huelskamp is pushing for an end to Planned Parenthood’s harvesting of aborted baby body parts for sale | Breitbart.com 17 July 2015
Pelosi picks six strong abortion rights supporters for the GOP-led panel on Planned Parenthood, “setting up a showdown over the already-controversial probe” | TheHill.com 04 November 2015
Officials from California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office – a longtime financial supporter of Planned Parenthood – ordered a search of Daleiden’s apartment… | Breitbart.com 06 April 2016
On October 7, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H. Res. 461, which created the Select Panel on Infant Lives and empowered the panel to investigate issues including “Federal funding and support of abortion providers,” as well as all “relevant matters with respect to fetal tissue procurement.” The Panel Chairman, Congressman Marsha Blackburn, has scheduled a hearing to explore information about the pricing of the tissue and whether abortion clinics and middleman businesses were making a profit from the transfer of fetal tissue. | Docs.House.gov (date .Pdf posted not known)
Trump Admin Cancels FDA Contract to Purchase Body Parts of Aborted Babies for Tax-Funded Research | LifeNews.com 25 September 2018
Trump’s NIH to spend $20 million “to develop or further refine ethical alternatives to fetal tissue research” | NationalRightToLifeNews.org 11 December 2018
NIH Director: Aborted Fetal Tissue Will ‘Continue to Be the Mainstay’ for Research | Breitbart.com 18 December 2018
President Trump Cancels $2 Million Contract to Purchase Body Parts of Aborted Babies for Research | LifeNews.com 05 June 2019
Lindsey Graham-Chuck Grassley questions to AG Barr and FBI Director Wray | Judiciary.Senate.gov 18 June 2019
* Gloria Feldt was PP president from 1996-2004. “When Feldt became president in 1996 Planned Parenthood’s abortion income was about $50 million. In 2004 the abortion income rose to $104 million. In 1996 abortion accounted for 27.6 percent of clinic income. At the end of her tenure it accounted for more than 36 percent of clinic income. During Feldt’s presidency, however, affiliates across the country dropped from 147 to 122 and clinics dropped from 938 to 850.” View more.
UPDATE | July 15, 2019: On the same day that Gov. Bevin announced that his legal team filed a brief to oppose the lower court decision to overturn Kentucky’s D&E Abortion ban, an Oklahoma Judge upheld the law passed by Oklahoma’s legislature to ban D&E. The opposition has promised to fight forward. Whatever becomes of Kentucky’s appeal, a showdown at the Supreme Court looms.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 12, 2019)
Gov. Matt Bevin’s legal team on Wednesday evening filed their opening brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in defense of House Bill 454 (HB 454), which bans the brutal and grotesque practice of live dismemberment abortions.
HB 454 was passed by the 2018 Kentucky General Assembly with overwhelming bipartisan support from legislators and signed into law by Gov. Bevin on April 10. The ACLU and a Louisville abortion clinic quickly challenged the law, and a U.S. District judge in May ruled in their favor.
The Bevin Administration, represented by attorneys from the Governor's Office and from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, argues that without HB 454, unborn children will continue to be torn limb from limb while still alive — a practice infinitely more barbaric than that reserved for “those who receive the death penalty and...even animals destined for death.” They further assert that the new law is in the best interest of the state because it protects the dignity of the unborn and ensures that the ethics of the medical profession in Kentucky reflect the values of the Commonwealth.
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.
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.
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.)
A disappointing ruling against Kentucky's law to ban Dismemberment Abortion was pronounced Friday, May 10, 2019. An update to the story published May 13 includes a TV interview with KRLA executive director Margie Montgomery. Click on the image.
In the spring of 2018 the Kentucky legislature passed a law to end D&E abortions. The law states:
"Bodily dismemberment, crushing, or human vivisection" means a procedure in which a person, with the purpose of causing the death of an unborn child, dismembers the living unborn child and extracts portions, pieces, or limbs of the unborn child from the uterus through the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors, or a similar instrument that, through the convergence of two (2) rigid levers, slices, crushes, or grasps, or performs any combination of those actions on, any portion, piece, or limb of the unborn child's body to cut or separate the portion, piece, or limb from the body. The term includes a procedure that is used to cause the death of an unborn child and in which suction is subsequently used to extract portions, pieces, or limbs of the unborn child after the unborn child's death; …
It was further legislated that there would be no penalty for the pregnant woman and that it would not apply in a medical emergency.
Governor Bevin has promised to appeal the decision all the way to SCOTUS if necessary. Let’s work hard to re-elect our incomparable pro-life Governor!
An Amicus Brief was posted on the Supreme Court docket website on Feb. 4 seeking clarification on the question:
Whether a state ban on dismemberment abortions is unconstitutional where there is a reasonable medical debate that alternatives to the banned procedure are safe
The Brief is presented through Governor Bevin as “Amici Curiae Supporting Petitioners.” Bravo Governor Bevin!
The Brief ends by asking SCOTUS to reverse the lower court decision of the Eleventh Circuit that overruled Alabama’s passage of a Dismemberment Abortion law in 2016. The lower court ruled it an unconstitutional ban on the D&E procedure.
Other states including Kentucky have passed the same legislation, namely Louisiana, Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia. Even more states are listed as petitioners in the Amicus Brief, including Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, N. Dakota, S. Carolina, S. Dakota, and Utah. There is strength in numbers!
The Brief contends:
The question presented in this case goes to the heart of the States’ authority to regulate abortion. This Court has held that States (1) have an interest in protecting and fostering respect for human life, including unborn life, and (2) have the power to regulate the medical profession, including on matters of medical judgment and ethics connected to abortion. See Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124 (2007). As a result, not only may States prohibit specific abortion procedures that threaten to erode respect for life, but they may balance any related medical tradeoffs when they do so, on condition that they do not unduly burden the decision to obtain an abortion. Id. Although the decision to obtain an abortion has been constitutionally protected, access to a particular abortion method — even a method favored by abortion providers — is not.
The request spotlights the legislation as pro-human dignity rather than pro-life. It does not prevent abortion. This is the unconscionable pass at which we find ourselves today. Regaining ground is the objective of this challenge to the court decision.
…In requiring fetal demise before dismemberment, amici do not intend to sanction either abortion generally or the dismemberment procedure in particular. They regret that Supreme Court precedent places them in the incongruous position of advocating for fetal death as a less brutal, more humane alternative to a procedure that should have no place in a civilized society. But at a minimum, amici strongly support the authority of States to protect both unborn life and human dignity in that small way. Amici thus have an interest in ensuring courts recognize that authority and scrutinize it under the appropriate standards.
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Posts on this page
11/21/2019 6:33:09 PMFlurry of Amicus briefs filed on behalf of EMS in HB454 legal case
9/9/2019 6:43:36 PMWhy did ACLU attorneys strenuously argue in Louisville that digoxin was not at all suitable for later term abortions?
7/31/2019 5:30:44 PMIf Kentucky’s current HB454 appeal at the Sixth District Court fails, could SCOTUS view the issue in a new light?
7/14/2019 10:30:12 AMJuly 14 marks the four-year anniversary of the Center for Medical Progress expose of Planned Parenthood abortions for body parts
7/14/2019 10:10:26 AMHB 454, passed overwhelmingly by Kentucky General Assembly, in legal fight
7/1/2019 2:45:33 PMSCOTUS declines to hear the Alabama Dismemberment Abortion Appeal
5/11/2019 1:10:09 PMJudge McKinley ruled Friday, May 10, 2019, that D&E dismemberment abortion will continue in Kentucky
3/2/2019 6:49:59 PMAmicus Brief presented to SCOTUS for clarification on states’ rights in abortion controversy