US Supreme Court Lets KY Pro-Life Law Stand

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by David Nussman  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  December 9, 2019   

Highest court declines to hear appeal against ultrasound rule

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WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - The U.S. Supreme Court is letting a Kentucky pro-life law stand.

The Kentucky law, passed in 2017, requires pregnant women to hear their preborn baby's heartbeat and view the baby via ultrasound before getting an abortion.

On Monday, the Supreme Court declined, without comment, to hear an objection against the law. That objection was made by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Kentucky abortion provider EMW Women's Surgical.

Previously, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law as constitutional, stating, "As a First Amendment matter, there is nothing suspect with a state's requiring a doctor, before performing an abortion, to make truthful, non-misleading factual disclosures, relevant to informed consent."

This appeals court ruling was on hold, pending the appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Bloomberg reports that EMW Women's Surgical is Kentucky's only abortion provider.

The Commonwealth of Kentucky has argued that the ultrasound law is "simple and straightforward," adding that it "does nothing more than require that women who are considering an abortion be provided with information that is truthful, non-misleading and relevant to their decision of whether to have an abortion."

Steve Pitt, general counsel for Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, has said the ultrasound law will go into effect shortly.

This move from the U.S. Supreme Court coincides with Bevin's last full day in the governor's office. Bevin lost a re-election bid to Democrat Andy Beshear, who will be inaugurated as Kentucky's governor this Tuesday.

Pro-lifers are celebrating the court's decision to allow the ultrasound requirement to take effect.

Lila Rose, head of pro-life group Live Action, remarked on Twitter Monday, "When women have the chance to see the humanity of their child and hear their heartbeat, many reject the violence of abortion."

"This is a great win for Kentucky and our nation," she added.

March for Life president Jeanne Mancini commented to LifeNews, "Women facing an unexpected pregnancy deserve to have as much medically and technically accurate information as possible when they are making what could be the most important decision of their life."

In like manner, Students for Life tweeted out, "This is another pro-life law that will be allowed to stand and will help protect preborn babies from abortion."

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, opined, "We are encouraged by today's Supreme Court decision that lets Kentucky's pro-life ultrasound law stand."

"Modern ultrasound technology opens an unprecedented window into the womb," Dannenfelser added, "providing undisputable evidence of the humanity of the unborn child."

This is a great win for Kentucky and our nation.

Pro-abortion activists, meanwhile, are outraged at the Supreme Court's decision not to hear the case.

Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, senior staff attorney at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, commented in a statement Monday, "By refusing to review the 6th Circuit's ruling, the Supreme Court has rubber-stamped extreme political interference in the doctor-patient relationship."

The law requires a doctor, prior to performing an abortion, to present the pregnant woman with the unborn baby's heartbeat and images of the unborn child.

Initially, the ultrasound requirement was struck down by a federal judge. U.S. District Judge David Hale ruled against it in 2017, shortly after it was passed. Hale stated in the ruling that the bill "impermissibly interferes with physicians' First Amendment rights."

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