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Abortionist scramble to block HB3, Kentucky’s comprehensive pro-life bill which prohibits abortion after the 15th week

by | Apr 15, 2022

By Dave Andrusko

It comes as no surprise but no sooner had Kentucky passed HB3, its comprehensive pro-life law, than Planned Parenthood and EMW Women’s Surgical Services raced to federal court.

“Lawyers for both clinics filed lawsuits in U.S. District Court in Louisville after the Republican-controlled General Assembly voted Wednesday to override Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto of House Bill 3,  an ‘omnibus abortion bill opponents say is unconstitutional,” Deborah Yetter reported for the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Because HB 3 included an emergency clause, it took effect immediately. Once HB 3 became law, Planned Parenthood and EMW Women’s Surgical Services said they suspended services.  

“It is impossible to comply with its vast provisions, resulting in an immediate ban on abortion state-wide in the absence of this Court’s intervention,” said the lawsuit filed on behalf of Planned Parenthood.

“We urge the court to block this law immediately and ensure that people in Kentucky can continue to access abortion care,” said Brigitte Amiri, deputy director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, which filed suit on behalf of EMW.

The law has multiple provisions. Saving unborn babies after the 15th week received the bulk of media attention. “The ACLU takes aim at the unconstitutionality of the law’s 15-week ban in its separate lawsuit, filed on behalf of the EMW Women’s Surgical Center in Louisville, one of two outpatient abortion clinics left in Kentucky,” Alex Acquisto reported for the Lexington Herald Leader.

But there were other important provisions in HB3 including restrictions on chemical abortion, specifically that women be required to be examined in person by a doctor before ingesting the drugs. 

This “will ban at-home, pill-by-mail, do-it-yourself abortions,” said Sen. Ralph Alvarado, a physician, who handled the bill in the Senate. 

And HB3 adds new restrictions on abortions for girls under 18.  HB3 also requires that “fetal remains be cremated or interred,” Reuters reported.

Republicans have super-majorities in both house, so they able to easily override the veto of pro-abortion Gov. Andy Beshear—in the House on a vote of 76-21 and the Senate, 31-6.

Yetter concludes her story

If a judge agrees to block House Bill 3, abortion opponents are still hopeful the U.S. Supreme Court, ruling in a case out of Mississippi, will strike down or substantially curtail Roe v. Wade, its landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.

The Mississippi law bans abortion at 15 weeks. Lawmakers in Kentucky have said that if the Supreme Court upholds that law but stops short of striking down Roe v. Wade, Kentucky would have a similar law in place through HB 3.

A ruling in the Mississippi case is expected by June.

Categories: Judicial