AP – January 9, 2017
Fighting back against the Republican majority in Kentucky’s Legislature, abortion rights supporters filed a federal lawsuit Monday aimed at blocking a new state law that requires women to get an ultrasound and have the fetal images described to them before having an abortion.
The American Civil Liberties Union went to court soon after Republican Gov. Matt Bevin signed the ultrasound bill into law — one of two abortion measures put on a fast track to passage last week from the GOP-led House and Senate in the first week of the 2017 session.
The ACLU said the ultrasound law violates privacy and 1st Amendment rights by requiring abortion providers to show and describe the ultrasound images to pregnant women, even if the women avert their eyes, which is permissible. The procedure also would seek to detect the fetal heartbeat, but women could ask that the volume of the heartbeat be reduced or turned off, if audible.
The law “compels women to listen to this government-mandated speech while lying captive on the examination table,” according to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Louisville.
Bevin called it “sound legislation” and predicted it would hold up in court.