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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.

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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.


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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.


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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.)


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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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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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