District Judge strikes Kentucky’s pro-life clinic transfer law

State will appeal

By Dave Andrusko

U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers

U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers

Following a three day hearing in September 2017, U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers has 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.

Elizabeth Kuhn, a spokeswoman for Gov. Matt Bevin said the administration “plans to appeal to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals,” The Kentucky Courier-Journal reported. “We are disappointed that the court would strike down a statute that protects the health and well-being of Kentucky women,” Kuhn said in an email.

Similar laws have been upheld in Louisiana and Ohio, increasing the likelihood that the Supreme Court may become involved.

The nub of the lawsuit is that the transfer agreement is both unnecessary and a ruse to block access to abortion—“They’re about shutting down abortion facilities,” said Brigitte Amiri, an ACLU attorney for EMW. Amiri insisted there were no problems until Matt Bevin became governor.”

The challenge was initially brought by EMW Women’s Surgical Center of Louisville, Kentucky’s lone remaining abortion clinic. However Judge Stivers, who heard the case without a jury, allowed Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky to join in because they intend to open an abortion clinic in Louisville.

In his 60-page ruling issued Friday Judge Stivers channeled the pro-abortion arguments. “The evidence presented here establishes clearly that scant medical benefits from transfer and transport agreements are far outweighed by the burden on Kentucky women seeking abortions,” he wrote.

In addition, as NRL News Today reported, the District Court for the Western District of Kentucky temporarily blocked Kentucky’s ban on dismemberment abortions. A trial has been set for November. Kentucky is one of nine states to ban dismemberment abortions: Alabama Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas.

The ACLU, which challenged HB 454, said, “This brings immediate relief to women across Kentucky who have had their appointments cancelled and care delayed if not pushed entirely out of reach.”

The ACLU called dismemberment abortions “safe and medically proven.” Consider….

In a dismemberment abortion, a living unborn baby is pulled out of her mother’s womb, a piece at a time. The abortionist uses clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments that, “through the convergence of two rigid levers, slice, crush, and /or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body to cut or rip it off.”

Kuhn, the spokeswoman for Gov. Bevin, said that the lawsuit was not surprising but was disturbing, Darcy Costello of the Louisville Courier Journal reported..

“Kentucky’s elected representatives voted overwhelmingly this session to safeguard unborn children against the gruesome practice of live dismemberment abortion,” Kuhn wrote in an email sent to reporters. “Few issues should be as commonsense as protecting the most vulnerable among us from the horrific act of being torn from limb to limb while still alive.”

“Overwhelmingly” is no exaggeration. The vote in the Senate was 31-5, the vote in the House was an equally one-sided 71-11.

Pro-abortionists have previously succeeding in striking down HB2, a state law passed in January 2017 that required abortionists to perform ultrasounds and attempt to show them and describe them to the patient. HB 2 was one of two new pro-life bills passed by the Kentucky legislature in January. The other was the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (SB5) which has not been challenged.

In gutting HB2 District Court Judge David Hale wrote, “The court recognizes that states have substantial interests in protecting fetal life and ensuring the psychological well-being and informed decision-making of pregnant women,” adding, “However, HB 2 does not advance those interests and impermissibly interferes with physicians’ First Amendment rights.”

Twenty-eight states have enacted various kinds of ultrasound laws. The common denominator is that an abortion-minded woman is given the opportunity to view the ultrasound of her unborn child.

According to the Lexington Times-Leader’s Daniel Desrochers, “House Bill 2 requires doctors to show women an image of their ultrasound, describe what it depicts and share the heartbeat of the child if one is present.” The woman can choose to avoid watching the image and can request that the sound be turned down or off.