Attorney General Beshear Again Fails to Defend Kentucky Law Protecting Dignity of Unborn Children

HB 454 bans gruesome live dismemberment abortion procedure

Media Contact: Nicole Burton

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 22, 2018) – While Gov. Matt Bevin’s legal team is fighting an attempt by the ACLU and a Louisville abortion clinic to overturn the recently enacted House Bill 454, Kentucky’s attorney general is continuing his track record of failing to defend the Commonwealth’s unborn.

Attorney General Andy Beshear has reached an agreement with the ACLU and the abortion clinic to be dismissed from the lawsuit against HB 454, which bans the brutal and grotesque practice of live dismemberment abortions. In a similar action last year, Beshear asked to be removed as a defendant in the ACLU’s legal challenge of HB 2, a law requiring physicians to describe an ultrasound to patients prior to performing an abortion.

“Although Attorney General Beshear likes to call himself the people’s lawyer, he has yet again failed to stand up for the Commonwealth’s unborn children, instead choosing to side with the ACLU by his inaction,” said Bevin spokeswoman Elizabeth Kuhn. “Either the Attorney General’s stance on abortion is so extreme that it blinds him to the realities of this gruesome procedure, or he simply doesn’t want to do his job and defend the laws of our state. Either way, his actions are bad for the people of Kentucky.”

HB 454 was passed during the regular session of the 2018 General Assembly with overwhelming bipartisan support from legislators and was signed into law on April 10 by Gov. Bevin.

The law bans the type of dilation and evacuation (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.

Gov. Bevin’s legal team has argued that this gruesome practice “would be punishable as a crime were the subject an animal rather than an unborn human.” They further assert that HB 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.

Attorney General Beshear's and the ACLU’s stipulation of dismissal in the HB 454 lawsuit, entered by the U.S. District Court on May 21, can be viewed here.