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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.

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fetus at 10 weeks

Learn about Kentucky’s Dismemberment Law.

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.


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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.



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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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