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Bevin Administration Fights Motion Seeking to Block New Live Dismemberment Abortion Law

H.B. 454 passed overwhelmingly by Kentucky General Assembly

Media Contact: Nicole Burton
502-564-2611
Nicole.Burton@ky.gov

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 9, 2018) – Gov. Matt Bevin’s legal team has submitted a brief in opposition to a motion for a preliminary injunction filed by the ACLU and a Louisville abortion clinic that would delay the enforcement of House Bill 454 (H.B. 454), which bans the brutal and grotesque practice of live dismemberment abortions.

The brief argues that without H.B. 454, unborn children will continue to be torn limb from limb while still alive, a practice that “would be punishable as a crime were the subject an animal rather than an unborn human.” It further asserts that H.B. 454 is in the best interest of the state because it protects the dignity of the unborn and ensures that the ethics of the medical profession in Kentucky reflect the values of the Commonwealth.

“This gruesome procedure, which rips apart a live, unborn child, is antithetical to everything that we stand for as a civilized society,” said Steve Pitt, Gov. Bevin’s general counsel. “H.B. 454 recognizes the dignity of human life and provides an alternative method for performing dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortions that does not subject the unborn to the torture and agony of being dismembered while alive.”

The law does not ban D&E abortions.  However, it does ban the type of D&E abortion procedure that causes fetal death through the process of live dismemberment. The graphic procedure involves the use of forceps to forcibly rip the unborn living child apart piece by piece, usually resulting in the unborn bleeding to death during the dismemberment process.

H.B. 454 prohibits the dismemberment of an unborn child while he or she is still alive and requires the more humane practice of ensuring fetal demise before the limbs are dissected from the body and removed from the womb.

H.B. 454 was passed during the 2018 Kentucky legislative session with overwhelming bipartisan support from legislators and was signed into law on April 10 by Gov. Bevin.

The Bevin Administration's brief was filed yesterday in District Court and can be viewed here.

In a short, one-page brief filed yesterday by Andy Beshear’s office, the Attorney General once again chose not to fulfill his statutory duties and failed to defend the law protecting the rights and dignity of unborn children. AG Beshear's brief can be viewed here.

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