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KRLA Forum
June 18, 2020 | Elizabeth Kuhn | Kentucky.gov

Attorney General Daniel Cameron today continued his unwavering defense of the unborn by asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to rehear a case involving a Kentucky law that bans live-dismemberment abortions. Attorney General Cameron tendered a Petition for Rehearing asking the case to be reheard en banc by all 16 judges of the court.

House Bill 454, known as the Human Rights of Unborn Children Act, was passed in 2018 by the General Assembly and requires abortion providers to ensure that an unborn child dies before beginning the gruesome dismemberment abortion procedure. The bill does not ban the controversial abortion procedure, but, instead, requires that the procedure is performed in a more humane manner. The bill was passed with bipartisan support and was immediately challenged by the ACLU on behalf of EMW Women’s Surgical Center.

“We’re exhausting every possible option to ensure that this law continues to be defended and is ultimately enforced,” said Attorney General Cameron. “The law extends compassion and dignity to the unborn by ensuring they are not subjected to the horror and pain of the dismemberment process while still alive. We would never allow the dismemberment of any other living being, and we are going to continue fighting, all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary, so that it can’t happen to unborn children (KRLA emphasis).”

Read more.


KRLA Forum

Dismemberment Abortion is what it is. The arms, legs and torso are torn off and the head is crushed to abort the living child. Yet, as destructive as this IS, somehow the body parts of pre-born babies are harvested for medical research, as was exposed by the Center for Medical Progress beginning in 2015.

The Courier-Journal did not have an extensive article celebrating the June 2nd Court of Appeals decision which said Kentucky’s passage of HB454 was unconstitutional. As well, the brief article was never linked from the home page. An excellent article was posted in the National Right to Life News.

Our pro-life General Assembly passed HB454 in 2018 to make D&E abortion illegal. It was immediately challenged by the EMW and ACLU. When District Judge McKinley handed the victory to the EMW, Gov. Bevin appealed the case.

At the Appeals Court hearing last January in Cincinnati, few abortion supporters showed up—as shown in the media conference photo (all press, ACLU attorney, no supporters), but pro-lifers packed the courtroom and the media event. (See photo.)

no-support-aclu.jpg

The law to stop Dismemberment Abortion is not pro-life legislation; it is to uphold human dignity and to address fetal pain. AG Daniel Cameron noted in the press conference following the hearing that Kentucky would not permit this gruesome and inhumane medical procedure to be practiced on an animal— Why do we accept it for the human infant? He also promised to pursue the case to the Supreme Court if needed. We will post again as news is made.

Other states have successfully passed such legislation. The NRLC followed up with a statement on June 5th.


KRLA Forum

The already well-argued case to end Dismemberment Abortion was presented in a nutshell this morning at the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. Deputy Solicitor General for the Commonwealth, Matt Kuhn (r), represented Kentucky’s interest, supported by Attorney General Daniel Cameron (l) and Chad Meredith, Solicitor General.

Attorney for the appeal

Attorney Kuhn explained to the panel of judges why the trial to defend the Law (in November 2018) against the EMW/ACLU challenge was improperly decided. Numerous legal precedents were cited. Many who are reading this article would find the audio of the hearing very interesting. It is accessible on the Appellate Court website here.

The courtroom was packed, with nearly all the seats taken by pro-lifers. The judges were Gilbert Merritt, appointed by President Jimmy Carter; John Bush, who also served on the hearing for the Ultrasound Law (a pro-life victory!), appointed by President Donald Trump; and Eric Clay, a Bill Clinton appointee. The timeframe for their decision is unknown at this time.

Following the hearing, a media conference organized by former Rep. Addia Wuchner was held just outside the Courthouse. She championed the Dismemberment Law during her final term in the House after representing District 66 since 2005. Ms. Wuchner now heads ProLife Woman, a Women’s Health Advocacy Media Group.

AG Daniel Cameron, Sen. Whitney Westerfield and Attorney Kuhn addressed the media and answered questions. AG Cameron assured the crowd that Kentucky would pursue the case to the Supreme Court if needed. Reference was made to a procedure during which a baby’s beating heart was expelled during the D&E abortion. He pointed out that the people of Kentucky would not permit this gruesome and inhumane medical procedure to be practiced on an animal. Why do we accept it for the human infant?

All the speakers agreed that Dismemberment Abortion is a sad reality but if it must be offered as part of the Roe v. Wade legal rules, then assuring the painless demise of the fetus before its limbs are torn off and its head is crushed— is essential.

AN ASIDE: The arguments insisting that it is the safest way for the woman never take the child into consideration. This hearing was timely in that scientists have recently confirmed that a fetus feels pain as early as 12 weeks.

EMW was represented by Atty. Andrew Beck, who is listed as an employee of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation which is located in New York City. No supporters of Dismemberment Abortion were in view when the media interviewed him.

For more photos, visit KRLA’s Facebook page. For background on this topic, see all previous Forum posts and the Laws Under Fire webpage.


KRLA Forum

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.


KRLA Forum

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.


KRLA Forum

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.

Brief background:

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 more.

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.


KRLA Forum

An article in the NRLC online news last Thursday (7/18/19) stated that Indiana’s Attorney General will take a different route to salvage their state law banning Dismemberment Abortion.

Three days before the law would have taken effect, Indiana Southern District Sr. Judge Sarah Evans Barker issued an injunction against it on legal order of the ACLU. The ACLU is representing a doctor who performs D&E abortions at two hospitals in Indianapolis.

In a strategic decision, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill announced Wednesday that rather than appeal a federal judge’s order blocking the state’s ban on dismemberment abortion from going into effect, his office will proceed to summary judgment.

Indiana’s AG is contending that there are no issues of material facts, and applicable law requires that the legislation be upheld. He is asking, Why can’t this law be upheld? What is illegal about it? He wants the injunction removed.

We’re watching to see what happens next!

In the course of Indiana’s committee hearings about the law a Ft. Wayne physician testified that he never heard of a legitimate medical reason to do the procedure (D&E). He said that Hoosiers would be outraged if something similar was done on animals.


KRLA Forum

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.

Read more.


KRLA Forum

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

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.

dismemberment_collage_r.jpg

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.

A related Amicus brief may be read here. Background on the legislation is here.

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!

This news has been reported in the Courier-Journal, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, and other media. We will report more information in the coming weeks.


KRLA Forum

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

Gov. Matt BevinThe 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.

Read more on the NRLC news.



Posts on this page

6/18/2020 7:01:15 PM
Gruesome dismemberment abortion procedure must end.
6/4/2020 7:09:01 PM
Judges appointed by Carter and Clinton rule that Dismemberment Abortion is okay for Kentucky.
1/29/2020 10:56:36 PM
The long awaited hearing was brief, only a little over a half hour.
11/21/2019 6:33:09 PM
Flurry of Amicus briefs filed on behalf of EMS in HB454 legal case
9/9/2019 6:43:36 PM
Why did ACLU attorneys strenuously argue in Louisville that digoxin was not at all suitable for later term abortions?
7/31/2019 5:30:44 PM
If Kentucky’s current HB454 appeal at the Sixth District Court fails, could SCOTUS view the issue in a new light?
7/22/2019 4:35:23 PM
A new tactic in the ongoing states’ battles against the ACLU
7/14/2019 10:10:26 AM
HB 454, passed overwhelmingly by Kentucky General Assembly, in legal fight
7/1/2019 2:45:33 PM
SCOTUS declines to hear the Alabama Dismemberment Abortion Appeal
5/11/2019 1:10:09 PM
Judge McKinley ruled Friday, May 10, 2019, that D&E dismemberment abortion will continue in Kentucky
3/2/2019 6:49:59 PM
Amicus Brief presented to SCOTUS for clarification on states’ rights in abortion controversy

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