ACLU files legal challenge to Kentucky abortion law passed Saturday

01/09/2017 02:42 PM

The American Civil Liberties Union has wasted little time in filing a legal challenge in an attempt to block an abortion restriction passed in the first week of the 2017 Kentucky General Assembly.

The ACLU has filed the case against House Bill 2 which requires doctors to conduct and display an ultrasound to a woman prior to providing an abortion procedure, even if the woman objects.

“Requiring doctors to show every woman ultrasound images and describe them to her — even against her will— violates longstanding constitutional principles, including the right to privacy, the right to bodily integrity, and First Amendment freedoms,” said William Sharp, Legal Director of the ACLU of Kentucky.

The ACLU believes that the legislation is an “an example of political interference operating in its most perverse form.”

“A woman deserves to expect high quality compassionate care from her doctor. Instead, this law puts politicians in the exam room — squarely between a woman and her doctor,” said Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, senior staff Attorney at the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project.

Kentucky’s ultrasound law is “nearly identical” to a North Carolina law that was struck down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in 2014, according to the ACLU.

In the“North Carolina case”: the court found that the law interferes with a doctor’s right to free speech.

The legislature also signed into law was a bill which bans abortion procedures after 20 weeks of gestation; the ACLU says it is conducting a legal analysis on that measure right now.

Monday’s challenge to the new law was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky on behalf of the sole licensed outpatient abortion facility in the state, EMW Women’s Surgical Center, three physicians, and their patients.


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