By Dave Andrusko
On June 3, NRL News Today reported that a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had upheld a permanent injunction granted in 2019 by U.S. District Judge Joseph McKinley, who found a Kentucky bill that banned the dismemberment of living unborn babies to be unconstitutional.
Judges Eric Clay, an appointee of Bill Clinton, and Senior U.S. Circuit Judge Gilbert Merritt Jr., a Jimmy Carter appointee, concluded that House Bill 454 was “unduly burdening the right to elect abortion” to require fetal demise before the baby is torn apart in a dismemberment abortion.
Kentucky pro-lifers fully expected Attorney General Daniel Cameron to appeal the decision to the full Appeals Court (in legalese, “en blanc”). Today his office announced that Cameron “tendered a Petition for Rehearing asking the case to be reheard en banc by all sixteen judges of the court.” The petition can be read here.
In a statement, Attorney General Cameron said of House Bill 454, known as the Human Rights of Unborn Children Act, “We’re exhausting every possible option to ensure that this law continues to be defended and is ultimately enforced.” The law, he said, “extends compassion and dignity to the unborn by ensuring they are not subjected to the horror and pain of the dismemberment process while still alive. We would never allow the dismemberment of any other living being, and we are going to continue fighting, all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary, so that it can’t happen to unborn children.”
As NRL News Today reported, the bill was passed with bipartisan support . It was, of course, immediately challenged by the ACLU on behalf of EMW Women’s Surgical Center which is located in Louisville.
The bill was signed into law by pro-life Republican Gov. Matt Bevin who was succeeded by pro-abortion Democrat Gov. Andy Beshear. When the divided panel struck down the law earlier this month, the Beshear Administration decided not to challenge the panel’s divided ruling. This led “Attorney General Cameron to file a Motion to Intervene in the case to ensure the law continues to receive a full defense.”