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Learn about Kentucky’s Dismemberment Law.

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Does the Planned Parenthood clinic on 7th Street in Louisville have Transfer Agreements? Will it really begin doing abortions in March? We will update this post as new facts come to light.


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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Today, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the challenge to Kentucky’s Ultrasound Law. “This is the best possible news defenders of life in the womb could receive! It is bad news for EMW Abortion facility and for Louisville Planned Parenthood,” stated KRLA President Diana Maldonado.

Thank you to Governor Matt Bevin for defending this law at the Appellate level and at the highest level. Tomorrow, Kentucky’s new Governor will be sworn in to office. Andy Beshear refused to defend the Ultrasound law when he was the Attorney General.

As reported by AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday left in place a Kentucky law requiring doctors to perform ultrasounds and show fetal images to patients before abortions.

The justices did not comment in refusing to review an appeals court ruling that upheld the law.

The American Civil Liberties Union had challenged the law on behalf of Kentucky’s lone remaining abortion clinic. The ACLU argued that “display and describe” ultrasound laws violate physicians’ speech rights under the First Amendment...

Read more.


KRLA Forum

In the going-on-nearly-three-years legal challenge to Kentucky’s Ultrasound Law (HB2) of 2017, a new document was filed in late October. Due to the General Election focus, we initially missed this announcement by Gov. Bevin.

Plaintiffs did not accept the victory for the Ultrasound Law that the Sixth Circuit Appeals Court handed down last April, and asked the Court for an “en banc” review of the decision. The Court declined, so Plaintiffs asked SCOTUS to issue a Writ of Certiorari. That would force the entire “bench” of the Sixth Circuit to review the decision.

The attorneys in Bevin’s Administration and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services who are defending the law, since AG Beshear refused to, filed an opposing brief in late October, asking that the petition for the Writ be denied. Their brief delineates the issue:

The “Question Presented” that is viewed as requiring “better judgment” is: Whether the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment prohibits the Commonwealth of Kentucky from regulating the practice of medicine by requiring a medical professional, prior to performing a medical procedure, to provide the patient with information that is truthful, non-misleading, and relevant to the procedure.

Kentucky’s 33-page brief explains why there is no Circuit conflict over the question and no recurring question it needs to resolve, and that the Appeals Court ruling is correct.

They point out that the petitioners (EMW) argue that HB2 is not an informed-consent law. They say a disclosure requirement cannot be considered valid unless it is consistent with the informed-consent preferences of special interest groups like the National Abortion Federation and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

The link to the brief is in the bulletin from Gov. Bevin, shared above.

Our pro-life attorney team has done a superb job of summing up for SCOTUS what is going on in the case. But, with the General Election results, will this wonderful team be in place to address any new challenges? If not, we want to again commend them for their dedicated work to save lives. If AG-elect Daniel Cameron is called on to complete their work, we wish him Godspeed.

Cameron has appointed Steve Pitt, Gov. Bevin's General Counsel, as his counsel and special advisor. Attorney Pitt served as chief litigator for Kentucky's Defense against the legal suits challenging our pro-life laws.


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.


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Third in a Series: Pro-life Laws Under Attack

The suit against Kentucky’s Heartbeat and Anti-Eugenics Laws is intent on maintaining the status quo. Kentucky’s defense asks Judge Hale to see Life in a new and better light.

Our wonderful attorneys want legal discovery to begin. They want the judge to consider whether EMW’s case actually benefits Kentucky women, physicians or the citizens who elect legislators to represent their views. We expect our lawmakers to create statutes that are in line with legal common sense and not merely court precedents based on tired, irrelevant rulings and opinions.

Kentucky, this is an opportunity for new vistas to a brighter future!

Let’s get personal

HB5 was delivered to Gov. Bevin for his signature on March 14, 2019, but had not yet been signed into law when EMW’s attorneys filed suit to oppose it.

In their opening document on March 14, 2019, the attorneys for EMW state that …“in violation of more than four decades of Supreme Court jurisprudence”, HB5 is unconstitutional because it bans abortion under certain circumstances, prior to viability.

While viability is their central point, many points are stated— 49 of them in their first document. Let’s look at point number three.
3 - “Plaintiffs challenge the Act because it undermines their mission to honor and support the decisions their patients make, whether it is to continue or to end a pregnancy based on their own personal circumstances and what is best for themselves and their families.” HB5 wrests the woman’s personal decision to get an abortion, and deprives her of the ability to make this personal decision.

HB5 has other persons in view. In part, the new law reads:
The Supreme Court of the United States of America has recognized that states have a legitimate interest in protecting the life of the unborn; and

  • Recognizing the human rights of an unborn child does not contravene prior Supreme Court jurisprudence nor undermine a woman’s right to self-determination or bodily autonomy, but instead upholds the state's legitimate interest in protecting the lives of unborn human beings and the rights of persons regardless of sex, race, color, national origin, or disability; and
  • The right to bodily autonomy and self-determination is separate and distinct from the termination of a pregnancy based on the unborn child’s sex, race, color, national origin, or disability; and
  • Moral and philosophical concepts of dignity hold that all human beings are entitled to receive ethical and humane treatment and are to be respected and valued in all phases of life, regardless of sex, race, color, national origin, or disability…

Our attorneys upheld all these reasons (and others) why discriminatory abortions are unfair as well as prohibited by state, federal and international laws that support the rights of all people to dignity, equality, and freedom from discrimination that is based on sex, race, color, national origin, or disability.

It is obvious we have a dilemma of competing rights. Judge Hale must decide whether to favor the right to abortion or the right to life of pre-born babies and the rights of states to protect them. Either way, he can quote from the law.

Which view will he take?



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