Appeals Court Upholds Ky. Requirement for Abortionists to Show Ultrasounds

‘I am grateful to be governor of a state that values every human life, and we are committed to continue our fight on behalf of the most vulnerable among us…’

Matt Bevin / Photo by Gage Skidmore (CC)

(Michael Barnes, Liberty Headlines) A federal appeals court delivered a major pro-life victory for Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin on Thursday, despite opposition from the American Civil Liberties Union and the state’s own Democratic attorney general.

“Today is a historic day, as Kentucky continues to lead the charge in implementing strong pro-life protections for its citizens,” Bevin said in response to the favorable ruling.

The case is a big step forward for so-called “informed consent” laws, which require truthful, non-misleading information about unborn babies before they are medically terminated.

The state law at issue, known as HB 2, requires abortion providers to offer ultrasounds to mothers prior to an abortion, as well as the opportunity to receive a description of what it depicts—including a fetal heartbeat.

National pro-abortion groups decry such laws, and are fighting the Kentucky proposal from being implemented.

But according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, showing an ultrasound and hearing a fetal heartbeat “gives a patient greater knowledge of the unborn life within her.”

The court also ruled that protecting unborn life is a compelling interest of the state, and that large out-of-state abortion rights groups—specifically, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the National Abortion Federation—must comply with laws passed by duly elected members of the state legislature.

“We applaud the decision by the Sixth Circuit, which affirms the commonsense notion that patients should be well equipped with relevant information before making important medical decisions,” Bevin said. “I am grateful to be governor of a state that values every human life, and we are committed to continue our fight on behalf of the most vulnerable among us.”

The Republican governor’s legal team is also currently defending three other anti-abortion laws in federal court—which include a ban on the gruesome practice of live dismemberment; and a ban of abortions based on race, gender and perceived disability.

A third law is similar to the high-profile pro-life measure recently passed in Georgia, which prohibits abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected.