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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

Fourth in the License to Abort Little Ones series

A look back over the multitude of legal briefs that began to be filed in early 2017 for the Transfer Agreements case reveals that Vickie Yates Brown Glisson was first to be named in the suit by EMW (et al) against Kentucky.

Ms. Glisson was appointed by Gov. Bevin in 2015 as Secretary of Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS). When the suit began, the CHFS did not have a general counsel. Then-AG Beshear did not defend Kentucky’s pro-life laws. Therefore Gov. Bevin called upon his General Counsel Steve Pitt to serve in Beshear’s role.

However, now that our new AG is pro-life, Gov. Beshear believes his CHFS Secretary has the authority to rescind lawsuits begun when Steve Pitt acted as General Counsel.

Kentucky’s CHFS Acting Secretary Eric Friedlander was quoted in a C-J article on Jan. 14:

“By rescinding the improper decision by the previous administration, we are now following the established processes required to reapply for a license," Friedlander said in a statement. "This administration will follow the state laws and statutes related to licensing of these facilities.”

…Friedlander's agency on Tuesday dropped the lawsuit the Bevin administration had filed accusing Planned Parenthood of failing to comply with state law in its previous license application. Lawyers for the Beshear administration and Planned Parenthood signed an agreement to dismiss the case pending in Jefferson Circuit Court, saying there was no failure to comply with the law.

Was the case is pending in the Jefferson Circuit Court? A call to the Cincinnati Sixth Circuit Appeals Court this week disclosed the case is pending there. What is going on? KRLA has requested AG Cameron’s help in this matter and we are confident he will clarify or take action to resolve the confusion.

First AG Beshear told Kentuckians he opposed the TA case. He even submitted an amicus brief on behalf of the EMW and PP while serving as Kentucky’s AG! (See blog series). Now, as Governor, he claims control of it? Can this be?

On the AG webpage on the state website, there is information on the AG powers:

The Kentucky Supreme Court has firmly established that the Attorney General’s primary obligation is to the people and their Commonwealth – not any branch of government. In 2016, the Supreme Court recognized the Attorney General’s common-law obligation to protect public rights and interests by ensuring that our government acts legally and constitutionally, in Beshear v. Bevin, 498 S.W.3d 355. The Court wrote that “It is certainly in ‘the interest of all the people’ that there be no unconstitutional or illegal governmental conduct.” The Court analyzed the supremacy of the Attorney General as the chief law officer of the Commonwealth, and found that he has broad authority to sue for declaratory and injunctive relief against state actors, including the Governor, whose actions he believes are illegal or unconstitutional.

Click here to read the rules for licensure of an abortion clinic in Kentucky. This has not been removed from the Ky. Law webpage to date.

On Jan. 31 the C-J reported:

Planned Parenthood now has permission to provide abortions at its clinic in downtown Louisville, making it the second facility in Kentucky to offer the procedure at a time when providers in some states are closing clinics under pressure from anti-abortion laws.

We believe this is a ruse.

If the Appeals Court panel of judges reinstates Kentucky’s TA law, that will either end the matter or the ACLU (et al) will pursue the case to SCOTUS. If the Appeals Court judges agree with the Fifth District Court decision handed down by Judge Stivers, perhaps AG Cameron will appeal to SCOTUS. (See related article on pro-life case now at SCOTUS.)

We are confident that the Rule of Law will prevail.

It has never been the TA Defense’s goal to shut down Kentucky’s abortion clinics, but only to preserve the existing law that protects aborted women.


KRLA Forum

Third in the License to Abort Little Ones series

There is a little confusion in the Transfer Agreements term. Sometimes it is used in the singular and other times as plural. There are two agreements, one with a hospital and one with a local ambulance service.

It was brought out in the Kentucky Transfer Agreements (TA) trial in September 2017, that the crucial feature of any TA with a hospital is the “protocol for transferring medical records.” This was restated in an Appellant (Ky.) brief last October explaining to the Cincinnati Appellate Court why the TA case is far from being resolved.

Kentucky’s brief was in response to an ACLU brief stating that a new policy issued September 30, 2019, by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) eliminates the requirement for Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASC) to have

  1. doctors with admitting privileges on staff,
    or
  2. a written transfer agreement with a hospital,

in order to participate in the Medicare program.

The CMS states that

  1. the enactment of EMTALA (Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act) regulations, and
  2. the small number of transfers, and
  3. the burden that ASCs incur when faced with local hospital competition issues

are good reasons why no TA is needed.

They are banking on ‘911’ calls and city/county EMS to do the job.

This brings up a point: Abortion clinics in Kentucky are not required to be licensed as ASCs. Since they are not ASCs with more stringent hospital standards, the TAs are essential to the current licensure standards. Are we willing to say that Medicaid rules that key in on saving money and the low numbers of potential fatalities should define the new standard?

But, why not require that any Kentucky abortion clinic be licensed as an ASC? Isn’t abortion a surgical procedure? Yes, of course.

There are two types of surgical abortion: aspiration abortion and dilation and evacuation (D&E - dismemberment) abortion. Women up to 14 to 16 weeks pregnant can have an aspiration abortion (except for the baby’s skull which may need to be crushed before aspiration). D&E abortions are performed at 14 to 16 weeks or after.

Gov. Beshear has issued a license for PP to begin doing abortions in March. This is not legal unless PP has a TA which has not yet been publicized.

If they do not have a TA, they will be operating illegally.

So, why does the Guttmacher.org website which favors abortion, claim that the “Transfer Agreement with Hospital” requirement in Kentucky is permanently enjoined and is not in effect?

The LawAtlas.org site, which pulls data from the internet, states that Kentucky Law does require TAs.

Pro-lifers have reason to think positive: Two of the three judges on the panel were appointed by President Trump. At the hearing last August, KRLA staff and friends heard their questions and thought they seemed genuinely impartial and willing to consider the importance of safety for the aborted woman.

If the Appeals Court reverses the District Court decision, as it did for Kentucky’s Ultrasound Law last year, then PP will be required to get TAs, as will EMW, or the case may be appealed to SCOTUS.

Like the Ultrasound Law, the TA Law does not oppose abortion. The former requires that the woman be informed and the latter that she be protected in the event of an emergency.


KRLA Forum

Second in the License to Abort Little Ones series

On Wednesday, March 4, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Louisiana’s 2014 Unsafe Abortion Protection Act, and La. is excited! We should be, too. This case could affect the outcome of the Kentucky Transfer Agreement (TA) case that currently awaits resolution at the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Will the TA panel of judges wait to hear the SCOTUS decision on the Unsafe Abortion Protection Act before handing down its ruling for Kentucky? There is a common sense practice of not investing too much time when it is known that a similar case may affect a lower court ruling.

The Appellate Court does NOT share any information on when an opinion will be issued. SCOTUS may not rule for many months, and the Sixth Circuit Court may wish to get our TA case off their docket soon. No one knows.

The La. case is similar to a Texas case which SCOTUS ruled against in 2016.

The Texas provisions under debate in the case required that abortion clinics be licensed as ambulatory care facilities with all the amenities of a surgical center, and that clinic doctors have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic.

"Both the admitting-privileges and the surgical-center requirements place a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, constitute an undue burden on abortion access, and thus violate the Constitution," said the 5-3 decision authored by Justice Stephen Breyer. Read more.

Breyer’s decision was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Anthony Kennedy and Sonia Sotomayor. Barak Obama applauded it.

Like the Texas case, the La. law requires the abortion clinic to have formal agreements with local hospitals allowing them to transfer patients if needed.

Pundits have observed that SCOTUS accepted the La. case to review because of its new composition that includes Judges Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. Otherwise it would have stood on precedent because of the similarity of the cases.

So, if Judges Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan and Sotomayor vote to disallow the La. law, will Chief Justice John Roberts join Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, Thomas and Alito, assuming they vote to uphold it?

An article on LifeNews.com encourages pro-lifers to be aware of this SCOTUS trial and to actively make known your concern for aborted women’s safety.


KRLA Forum

First in the License to Abort Little Ones series

Does the Planned Parenthood clinic on 7th Street in Louisville have Transfer Agreements? Will it really begin doing abortions in March?


Deborah Yetter, Louisville Courier Journal | Published 5:06 p.m. ET Jan. 31, 2020 | Updated 6:11 p.m. ET Jan. 31, 2020

Planned Parenthood now has permission to provide abortions at its clinic in downtown Louisville, making it the second facility in Kentucky to offer the procedure at a time when providers in some states are closing clinics under pressure from anti-abortion laws.

The decision by the administration of Gov. Andy Beshear was hailed by Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky as a victory for women’s health and reproductive rights, saying the decision allows it to provide “a full range of reproductive health care.”

…Planned Parenthood said it plans to begin offering abortions in March.

Unlike EMW, which operates a storefront clinic and is the site of daily sidewalk protests by people opposed to abortion, Planned Parenthood’s clinic is set back off the road with on-site parking surrounded by a privacy fence.

Read more.


Do governors have the right to overrule legislation in the court system that is pending resolution?

The C-J reported in late September 2018 that Judge Stivers (a Fifth District Court judge) ruled in favor of the abortion clinics, and struck down the “state law requiring Kentucky abortion clinics to have written agreements with an ambulance service and hospital for emergencies… ” His ruling was appealed by Gov. Bevin to the Sixth Circuit Appeals Court. THAT IS WHY the article ALSO states:


Deborah Yetter, Louisville Courier Journal | Published 4:12 p.m. ET Sept. 28, 2018 | Updated 6:49 p.m. ET Sept. 28, 2018

The revocation of EMW's license would have made Kentucky the only state without a single abortion provider. Stivers had ordered that EMW could remain open while the legal challenge is pending… (Our emphasis)

What has changed? The TA case has NOT been ruled on by the Sixth Circuit Court. The only new document on PACER that we can find is the Amy Cubbage, Ackerson & Yann, PLLC, motion to withdraw as Counsel for EMW WOMEN’S SURGICAL CENTER, P.S.C., et al., filed 1/30/2020.

Do governors have the right to overrule legislation in the court system that is pending a resolution? And if Daniel Cameron decides to appeal that decision, if unfavorable, to SCOTUS, will Gov. Beshear have any right to grant a license to PP?


C-J article in 2019 reported on Judge Stiver’s challenge to Gov. Bevin to grant PP a license to abort

Last August the Bevin administration was advised to grant a license to Planned Parenthood, as reported in the C-J.


Deborah Yetter and David Harten, Louisville Courier Journal | Published 10:18 p.m. ET Aug. 16, 2019 | Updated 4:33 p.m. ET Aug. 17, 2019

…In a notice to the judge filed Friday, Meredith and lawyer M. Stephen Pitt, Bevin's general counsel, told the judge that the state had denied a license to Planned Parenthood and that he has no authority in the matter.

“Respectfully, this Court has no jurisdiction over the state licensing process," the notice said.

The state's denial comes amid an ongoing dispute over whether Kentucky abortion clinics must have transport and transfer agreements with an ambulance and hospital in the event of a medical emergency, as required by a 1998 state law.

Has Kentucky’s Transfer Agreement law been overturned? When? Does Planned Parenthood now have Transfer Agreements? We are keeping our ear to the ground.

For more background on this controversy, see the blog series on then-AG Beshear's Amicus brief on behalf of the abortion clinics, and the TA page on this site.



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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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