January 31, 2020

Appeals Court Hears Arguments Regarding Kentucky Dismemberment Abortion Ban

On Wednesday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati heard oral arguments regarding the legality of Kentucky House Bill 454, which would limit dismemberment abortion in the state. The ACLU and State Deputy Solicitor General Matthew Kuhn gave arguments in front of the three-judge panel.

“We, Kentucky, can change how abortion procedures are performed to make them more humane,” Kuhn said. He argued that the law does not necessarily ban dismemberment, but it would require fetal demise before an abortionist could tear the limbs from a fetus's body. During a dismemberment abortion, this is done to a living fetus because the child is otherwise too large to remove from the mother's womb without inducing labor.

He also pointed out that Ohio currently exercises a similar law, saying, “If doctors in Ohio are already doing it, why can’t doctors in Kentucky do it?”

It could be months before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals makes a decision on this law, but Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said he is prepared to appeal to the Supreme Court if necessary

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