Trial testing Kentucky’s ban on dismemberment abortion begins

By Kentucky Right to Life

Chief District Judge Joseph H. McKinleye

Editor’s note. EMW Women’s Surgical Center of Louisville is Kentucky’s lone remaining abortion clinic. The clinic, represented by the ACLU, is challenging HB 454, which bans the vicious and gruesome practice of dismemberment abortion. When Gov. Matt Bevin signed the bill, Kentucky became the ninth state to ban dismemberment abortion.

“The essence of society is that the strong protect the weak,” was Kentucky lead attorney and governor’s general counsel Stephen Pitt’s opening statement on Nov. 13, the first day of the Dismemberment Trial. Who could disagree? But toward the close of Wednesday’s arguments and testimonies, we all knew that A LOT of people will NEVER agree with that simple idea.

In the afternoon, Chad Meredith, Kentucky lead attorney and deputy general counsel, cross examined one of the ACLU expert witnesses, Steven Joffe, MD, MPH, chief, Division of Medical Ethics, pediatric oncologist and bioethicist and professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy and of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.

Would Dr. Joffe not agree that it shows profound disrespect for a fetus to be dismembered while the heart is beating? No, Dr. Joffe could not say that.

Other ACLU expert witnesses were equally high-profile, accomplished professionals who were fully focused on the woman and never on the child. It became easy to understand how these medical doctors/teachers and their fellow academicians had convinced Dr. Tanya Franklin, one of EMW’s abortionists who took the stand on Wednesday, that it is medically inaccurate to use the term child before it is born: instead say “embryo” or “fetus.” (Contents of womb, etc.)

We will report more fully on the trial after it concludes and we have reviewed the transcript. The trial probably will conclude on Monday, Nov. 19. It is open to the public. We are looking forward to hearing the state administration’s expert witnesses, and we salute our wonderful attorneys!

Our thanks to Addia Wuchner, RN, and State Representative, D-66, and Rep. Joe Fischer, D-68, for their work on HB454 and for rallying the troops on Nov. 13 at the Western District Courthouse.