Gov. Bevin Files Legal Brief Defending Pro-Life Anti-Eugenics Law and Heartbeat Law

Continues fight for the unborn by defending HB5 and SB9 passed by the 2019 General Assembly

Media Contact: Nicole Burton

FRANKFORT, Ky. (August 3, 2019) – Gov. Matt Bevin continued his fight for the unborn by filing a legal brief in federal court yesterday defending two pro-life laws passed by the 2019 General Assembly, a ban on discriminatory abortions and a ban on abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

EMW Women’s Surgical Center, which performs 3,000 abortions in Kentucky annually, hired the ACLU to sue Kentucky over the constitutionality of HB5 and SB9.  HB5 bans abortions based upon the race, sex, or disability of the unborn child.  Gov. Bevin’s brief argues that the U.S. Supreme Court has never decided whether an abortion provider can perform discriminatory abortions.  The brief provides expert testimony establishing that discriminatory abortions happen in Kentucky, noting nearly one out of every two unborn children with Down syndrome in Kentucky is aborted. 

SB9 bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.  The brief argues that SB9 promotes the Commonwealth’s interest in protecting human life.  Expert testimony from the brief notes that the development of a fetal heartbeat is a significant milestone in the life and growth of an unborn child, which is why a heartbeat bill like SB9 is needed.

“Today’s brief demonstrates the Bevin Administration’s and the overwhelming majority of Kentucky legislators' profound respect for unborn life,” said Bevin General Counsel Steve Pitt.  “The General Assembly’s passage of HB5 and SB9 shows that Kentuckians value life, and the Bevin Administration will defend these laws to the fullest extent and all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary.”

The Attorney General once again refused to defend Kentucky’s pro-life laws, HB5 and SB9.  Instead, he entered into a dismissal agreement with EMW and the ACLU.  To view his agreement with the ACLU and EMW, click here.

To view a copy of the brief filed by Gov. Bevin’s legal team, click here.