Federal appeals court upholds HB 2 ultrasound law
Media Contact: Nicole Burton
FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 4, 2019) – Gov. Matt Bevin and the people of the Commonwealth today won a major pro-life legal victory, as a federal appeals court upheld the constitutionality of House Bill 2 (2017). HB 2 requires an abortion provider to provide mothers with an ultrasound and the opportunity to receive a description of what it depicts, as well as the opportunity to hear the fetal heartbeat, before she chooses to terminate her pregnancy.
In its ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit:
- Affirmed that Kentucky has a strong interest in protecting unborn life and that HB 2 furthers that interest,
- Affirmed that showing an ultrasound and hearing the fetal heartbeat "gives a patient greater knowledge of the unborn life within her," and
- Rejected the notion that the Kentucky legislature must follow what pro-abortion groups like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the National Abortion Federation (NAF) say.
"Today is a historic day, as Kentucky continues to lead the charge in implementing strong pro-life protections for its citizens," said Gov. Bevin. "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. 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 court completely rejected the analysis advocated by Attorney General Andy Beshear and the ACLU. Instead, it agreed with Gov. Bevin's counsel that informed-consent laws are constitutional when they merely require the disclosure of truthful non-misleading, and relevant information.
In addition to HB 2, Gov. Bevin has worked with the General Assembly to enact several vital pieces of pro-life legislation, including:
- SB 4 (2016) – requiring informed consent (in-person or via real-time video),
- SB 5 (2017) – protecting children after 20 weeks of gestation,
- HB 454 (2018) – banning the gruesome practice of live dismemberment abortion,
- SB 9 (2019) – banning abortions after a baby’s heartbeat has been detected, and
- HB 5 (2019) – banning abortions based on race, gender, and perceived disability.
Gov. Bevin's legal team is also currently defending HB 454, SB 9, and HB 5 in federal court.
To access a copy of today's ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, click here.