Federal judge continues to thwart pro-life Kentucky laws

By Dave Andrusko

U.S. District Judge David Hale

Nobody ever says passing pro-life legislation is the end of the process. With rare exceptions, pro-abortionists challenge them in court.

Which is what happened Wednesday in Kentucky. U.S. District Judge David Hale extended an already existing temporary restraining order preventing two Kentucky laws from taking effect.

HB 5 bans abortions because of a child’s sex, race, or a disability such as Down syndrome. Senate Bill 9 bans abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

According to Deborah Yetter of the Louisville Courier-Journal,

“Hale’s order, entered Wednesday afternoon, says that the laws will not be enforced by agreement of the parties until the court issues a final ruling on whether they are constitutional, a process likely to take months.”

Both bills carried “emergency” declarations, which mean they became law immediately upon Gov. Matt Bevin’s signing them into law.

But Hale issued temporary orders blocking both laws from taking effect after the ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging both.

Under Wednesday’s order, the laws will remain suspended until Hale issues a final ruling. Hale had scheduled a hearing on the matter for Friday but instead held a telephone conference with the lawyers in the case Wednesday.

Kentucky, which has passed many pro-life laws, is already in court appealing two decisions striking down pro-life laws.

Last October, U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers sided with the EMW Women’s Surgical Center and Planned Parenthood to strike down a Kentucky law requiring abortion clinics to have a transfer agreement with a local hospital in case of an emergency. That decision is being appealed to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Kentucky passed HB 2 in 2017. The law requires an ultrasound prior to an abortion and that the abortionist describes what is seen on that ultrasound. The bills passed both houses in less than a week from the time they were introduced.

Judge Hale struck that law as well. Last July, Kentucky appealed his decision to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.