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Federal Judge Strikes Down Kentucky Ban on Dismemberment Abortions

Last Friday, U.S. District Judge Joseph McKinley sided with the attorneys for the ACLU by enjoining enforcement of a Kentucky law prohibiting dismemberment abortions (medically called a dilation and evacuation or D&E procedure) that had been signed into law by Gov. Matt Bevins last year.

The procedure was generally performed after the 14th week of pregnancy. McKinley argued that the ban was unconstitutional because it restricted a woman’s “right to abortion” before the “viability” of the baby, which is typically around 24 weeks.

While pro-abortion activists might tout that D&E abortions are safest for the mother during the second trimester, pro-life advocates point to economic gain as being the real reason for preserving this type of abortion. “Dismemberment abortion facilitates fetal harvesting,” Kansans for Life Executive Director Kay Culp told LifeSiteNews last year. “Clinicians experimenting on aborted baby parts don’t want their research tainted by drugs, and, they want fresh organs—packed for shipping within minutes of death.”

The governor plans to appeal. “We profoundly disagree with the court’s decision and will take this case all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary, to protect unborn children from being dismembered limb by limb while still alive,” said Elizabeth Kuhn, Bevins’ communications director.

The law would make it a felony for a physician to perform a dismemberment abortion and the physician would be subject to sanctions against his or her medical license.

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Sixth Circuit Upholds Kentucky Ultrasound Law

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in a 2-1 ruling upheld a Kentucky law on Thursday that requires doctors, prior to performing an abortion, to perform an ultrasound while explaining to the pregnant woman what the ultrasound depicts and allowing her to hear the fetal heartbeat. The law provides, however, that the woman is not required to view the ultrasound and can ask that the sound be turned off.

In writing for the majority, Judge John Bush held that the law is consistent with the guidelines that would allow states to implement restrictions on abortion established by the U.S. Supreme Court in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Specifically, Judge Bush noted that giving relevant, truthful, and objective information regarding a medical procedure properly provides a means of obtaining a woman’s “informed consent” in a manner that does not pose an “undue burden” on the abortion right.

“The information conveyed by an ultrasound image, its description, and the audible beating fetal heart gives a patient greater knowledge of the unborn life inside her,” Bush said. “This also inherently provides the patient with more knowledge about the effect of an abortion procedure: it shows her what, or whom, she is consenting to terminate. That this information might persuade a woman to change her mind does not render it suspect under the First Amendment. It just means that it is pertinent to her decision-making.”

Tennessee is included in the 6th Circuit and the ruling is therefore binding on federal review of Tennessee statutes.

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KY Heartbeat Law Temporarily Enjoined

A federal judge in Kentucky has temporarily blocked enforcement of the state’s new heartbeat law because the measure was potentially unconstitutional and patients “would be immediately and irreparably harmed absent a temporary restraining order.”

The Kentucky law banned abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which typically begins at six weeks into the pregnancy. According to the lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of the state’s only abortion clinic, about 90 percent of abortions in the state are performed after six weeks. Thus, the measure would practically eliminate abortion in Kentucky since most women don’t even know they are pregnant until about this time.

Steve Pitt, general counsel to the governor, said abortion activists are running scared. “This case or others like it from other states will result in major changes in abortions in the U.S. in the near future. The ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and others favoring unlimited abortions know this and are in a panic.”

The law will be delayed for at least14 days until hearings are held on the law’s constitutionality.

The ACLU is also watching another pro-life Kentucky bill yet to be signed by the governor that would ban abortions sought due to a diagnosis of some disability in the unborn baby.

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KY Judge Who Objects to Homosexual Adoptions Faces Charges

Judge W. Mitchell Nance of Kentucky, who tried recusing himself from homosexual adoption cases by declaring his conscientious objection, informed Kentucky’s Judicial Conduct Commission that he is resigning effective Dec. 16. The family court judge of 14 years, who objected to these kinds of adoptions based on his religious beliefs and the fact that these kinds of adoptions were “not in the child’s best interest,” has been formally charged with violating ethics rules and committing misconduct in office. Nance’s attorneys hope the resignation will make those charges moot. The commentary by FACT’s president on May 5, 2017 predicted this would happen and explained why.

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Kentucky Judge Refuses to Hear Homosexual Adoption Cases

Family court Judge W. Mitchell Nance of Kentucky says that “as a matter of conscience” he is recusing himself from hearing any adoption cases involving homosexuals because he believes allowing a homosexual to adopt is never in the best interest of the child.

Another judge in the district will hear any cases Nance doesn’t, so Nance’s stance will not prevent homosexual couples from adopting. Still, the LGBT community is calling for Nance to resign.

To better understand why another judge handling the adoptions is not an acceptable accommodation, see today’s blog post.

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