News Abortion

Kentucky Republicans Ignore Court Decisions, Ban Common Abortion Procedure (Updated)

Teddy Wilson

Fifteen Democratic legislators in the Kentucky State House joined Republicans in approving a ban on an abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation.

UPDATE, April 13, 2:45 p.m.: Kentucky’s D and E ban was blocked from enforcement by a federal judge under a joint consent order after the ACLU on Tuesday filed a lawsuit on behalf of Kentucky abortion providers seeking to stop enforcement of Kentucky’s D and E ban. Gov. Matt Bevin (R) had signed the measure into law on Monday. 

The Kentucky legislature on Tuesday gave final approval for a ban on the most common type of second trimester abortion care, as similar laws have been blocked by federal and state courts.

Rep. Mary Lou Marzian (D-Louisville) voted against the bill and argued that states that pass this anti-choice legislation face significant litigation cost, reported the Louisville Courier Journal.

“This bill is going to cost taxpayers a load of money and it’s clearly unconstitutional,” Marzian said.

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HB 454, sponsored by Rep. Addia Wuchner (R-Florence), prohibits a physician from performing an abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation (D and E), the most common method of performing second-trimester abortions. The provisions were based on copycat legislation drafted by the National Right to Life Committee, an anti-choice organization that has lobbied GOP lawmakers in eight states to pass similar bills.

The bill bans the procedure when the “probable post-fertilization age of the fetus is eleven weeks or greater,” or 13 weeks from the first day of a pregnant person’s last menstrual period.

Anyone who violates the law could be found guilty of a Class D felony, which carries a sentence of one to five years in prison.

An ACLU spokesperson wouldn’t say whether the organization would file a legal challenge to the D&E ban, the Courier Journal reports

This year, bills targeting second trimester abortion care have been introduced in seven states, and a similar bill passed by Mississippi Republicans has been blocked by a federal court.

The Kentucky house passed the bill with a 75-13 vote, with 15 Democrats voting with Republicans. The state senate passed the bill with a 31-5 vote, and with four Democrats joining the GOP.

The bill now heads to Gov. Matt Bevin (R), who has signed legislation that restricts abortion care. His administration has aggressively targeted abortion providers in the state.

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