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.