Supreme Court hearing appeal to Kentucky’s live dismemberment abortion law

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of the case involving Kentucky’s live dismemberment abortion law — House Bill 454 — passed in 2018 — Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced Monday.  

The law prohibits abortionists from performing dilation and evacuation procedures on an unborn child.

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Last year, Cameron’s team defended House Bill 454 on behalf of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services  before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

The Sixth Circuit upheld an injunction against the law by a 2-1 vote, and the Beshear Administration refused to appeal and continue defending the law.

Cameron moved to intervene in the case and continue defending the law.

When the Sixth Circuit did not allow the Attorney General to intervene, he asked the Supreme Court to consider whether he should be allowed to defend the law on behalf of Kentuckians. 

Cameron’s office will argue the case before the U.S. Supreme Court this fall, with a decision expected later this year or early next year.

The lawsuit concerns the ACLU’s challenge to a Kentucky law that bans a standard abortion procedure. Two lower courts ruled that the Kentucky law, which would prevent some patients from accessing abortion care altogether, is unconstitutional.

After the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals found the law unconstitutional, Cameron filed a motion to intervene in the case in a last-ditch effort to reinstate the abortion ban. The Sixth Circuit ruled that Cameron’s 11th-hour attempt to jump into the case was untimely.

The Supreme Court will now review that decision and decide whether Cameron’s late entry should be permitted.

“The Attorney General has shown that he will stop at nothing to prevent people from making theirown decisions about a pregnancy,” said Andrew Beck, senior staff attorney at the ACLUReproductive Freedom Project. “Major medical associations have condemned harmful restrictions like the one at issue here, and every court to consider a law like this has blocked it. We will continue to work to make sure this ban never takes effect.”

The ACLU, the ACLU of Kentucky, and the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers brought this case on behalf of EMW Women’s Surgical Center, P.S.C., on behalf of the clinic, its staff, and its patients, as well as two physicians who provide care at EMW, on behalf of themselves and their patients.