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ACLU Sues Over Kentucky’s New Ultrasound Abortion Law

Jan. 11, 2017

Similar laws have been ruled unconstitutional

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit in an attempt to stop a law requiring woman to be presented with an ultrasound before getting an abortion, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported.

The bill, which was fast-tracked through the Kentucky legislature and passed over the weekend along with a 20-week abortion ban, requires physicians to show and describe the ultrasound to women before they get an abortion. Both pieces of legislation included an ’emergency clause,’ meaning that it went into effect as soon as Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed it into law.

The American Civil Liberties filed its federal lawsuit against the ban Monday, arguing that the bill “violates longstanding constitutional principles, including the right to privacy, the right to bodily integrity and First Amendment Freedoms.” The ACLU said that the requirement “forces physicians to deliver a government-mandated, ideological message” to a woman “lying captive on the examination table.” The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the state’s sole abortion provider, EMW Women’s Surgical Center in Louisville.

Half of the states in the country require women to get an ultrasound before an abortion. Similar bills in Oklahoma and North Carolina were struck down as unconstitutional.

But Bevin didn’t seem too concerned with the ACLU’s lawsuit. “It’s a shocker that the ACLU is suing someone,” Bevin told WHAS-AM, according to the Courier-Journal. “We anticipated as much. That’s what they do. It’s what liberals always do when they don’t like something, they sue.”

[The Louisville Courier-Journal]