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ACLU sues Kentucky after governor signs another abortion law

A federal judge has already blocked a prior abortion law, called the "heartbeat law," from taking effect in Kentucky.

By
Clyde Hughes
Demonstrators rally for and against abortion rights at the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., on January 18. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Demonstrators rally for and against abortion rights at the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., on January 18. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

March 20 (UPI) -- Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has signed a bill that immediately bans abortions in the state based on the sex, race or disability of a fetus.

Bevin signed the bill Tuesday, which contained an "emergency clause" that put it into effect immediately.

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The American Civil Liberties Union answered by seeking a restraining order to keep the law from taking effect. The suit was filed on behalf of the EMW Women's Surgical Center in Louisville, the state's last remaining abortion clinic.

"EMW and its abortionists have responded with a novel claim: women have a constitutional right to undergo race-based abortions, gender-based abortions, and disability-based abortions," Bevin's general counsel, M. Stephen Pitt, said in a statement.

"In [the] plaintiffs' view, somewhere in the Fourteenth Amendment's penumbra lies a secret protection of eugenics. That is a perverse distortion of Roe v. Wade and its progeny."

Brigitte Amiri, deputy director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, said last week the law chips away abortion rights guaranteed by a 1973 Supreme Court ruling.

"Decisions about whether to end a pregnancy must be made by the woman and her family," Amiri said. "But this law takes the decision away from them and hands it over to politicians. ... We won't stand for it."

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U.S. District Judge David Hale has already blocked a different abortion bill, which bans abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, about six weeks into pregnancy.

That law forced EMW clinic to cancel abortion appointments until Hale issued the restraining order.

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