Gov. Bevin Joins 19-State Coalition in Filing Amicus Brief to Protect Unborn Children

Brief supports North Carolina's 20-week abortion ban currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Media Contact: Nicole Burton

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 9, 2019) – Gov. Matt Bevin has joined a 19-state effort in defending the right of states to prohibit abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, a crucial argument to protect the lives of unborn children and safeguard similar laws across the nation. 

The coalition's brief leans upon a growing scientific consensus that a fetus is capable of experiencing pain at the 20-week threshold, if not before.

"One of the chief responsibilities of government is to protect our society's most vulnerable, and we are proud to stand alongside North Carolina in this critical legal fight," said Gov. Bevin. "Kentuckians deeply value the sanctity of human life, and our Administration will continue to defend the inalienable rights of unborn children at every opportunity."

The brief, filed last week with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, supports the constitutionality of North Carolina's 20-week ban. The brief also challenges the plaintiff's ability to have brought the initial lawsuit.

Any decision regarding the North Carolina case could affect not only North Carolina's law, but also similar laws across the circuit court's jurisdiction, which also covers Maryland, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

Kentucky joined the West Virginia-led brief with Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.

All of these states except for Kentucky and Mississippi were represented by their respective attorneys general.

Kentucky's Attorney General Andy Beshear, per his usual practice, refused to participate in this pro-life filing. Therefore, Gov. Bevin instructed his legal team to join the brief on behalf of the citizens of the Commonwealth.

In 2017, Gov. Bevin signed into law Senate Bill 5, Kentucky's own 20-week abortion ban that was enacted by the General Assembly.

A copy of the 19-state Circuit Court amicus brief is available here.