So Kentucky Pretty Much Banned Abortion This Week
Ever since beer-liking sex creep Brett Kavanaugh managed to get himself appointed to the Supreme Court, we have lived with the knowledge that, soon, a case challenging Roe v. Wade will make its way to the Supreme Court. We have lived with the likelihood that it will be overturned.
This week, Kentucky instituted two new laws regulating abortion, which, combined with other anti-abortion laws, will have the effect of effectively banning the procedure throughout the state.
The first new law passed on Wednesday night bans abortions sought after a fetal diagnosis. So if you go to the doctor and the doctor says "Your child is going to be born without a brain and will live for only a few hours in excruciating pain before dying," and you think to yourself "Gee, that seems like a pretty terrible thing to put a child through!" and then want to get an abortion, you cannot do so. With a law like this, Kentucky will really be giving Mississippi a run for its money in the infant mortality rate department.
As the ACLU points out, the Kentucky legislature and Governor Matt Bevin have yet to meet a ridiculous anti-abortion law they don't like.
This is just the most recent effort by Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky and other politicians to push abortion out of reach. Bevin has forced two other clinics to stop providing abortion, resulting in EMW in Louisville being the last remaining abortion facility in the state.
Bevin tried to close EMW in 2017 by threatening to revoke its license, claiming that there were technical deficiencies with EMW's hospital transfer agreement, such as the "wrong" person at the hospital signed it. There is no medical reason to require a transfer agreement in the first place, and Bevin's administration was nit-picking EMW's agreement to try to shut it down. We sued, and a federal district held that the state's attempts to shut down the clinic were unwarranted and unconstitutional. Undaunted, Kentucky has appealed, so we are still fighting these efforts.
The Kentucky Legislature also passed a law in 2017 that requires doctors to show patients seeking an abortion the ultrasound image and describe it in detail, even over a patient's objection. We challenged the law and a court held that it was unconstitutional, but Kentucky appealed that decision too. Another law passed in 2018 effectively bans abortions after approximately 15 weeks of pregnancy; we challenged that law, too, and the court stopped the law from taking effect while it is being litigated.
The second law, passed on Thursday night, bans abortion after six weeks -- which is often before a person even knows they are pregnant.
Isn't that illegal? It sure is! Roe guarantees the right to abortion up to viability, or 24-25 weeks. The legislators who passed this law are well aware of this. They want the law to be challenged in court. They want to take it all the way to the Supreme Court, as they (quite reasonably) believe that it will result in Roe being overturned.
There are those that say it is almost inevitable that it will be overturned and who are already preparing for a post-Roe world (like me), and those who say it will never happen because John Roberts will magically decide to not be terrible about this. Either way, we're gonna find out who's right pretty soon.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse