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Federal Judge Blocks Kentucky Bill Banning Abortions Based on Sex, Race or Disabilities

  • Kayla Koslosky

    Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket …

  • 2019 Mar 21

Kentucky’s governor Matt Bevin signed two bills in recent weeks banning abortions on the basis of race, sex or a disability diagnoses and after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Motions for injunctions have already been filed against both of the bills – HB5 and SB9 respectively.

The National Review reports that the HB5 “reasons” bill – which Bevin signed into law on Tuesday – contains an “emergency clause” which would have allowed it to go into effect immediately after it was signed.

According to the Associated Press, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a motion on March 15 requesting a preliminary injunction or “temporary restraining order” against the bills, anticipating that Bevin would sign them once they reached his desk.

In the suit filed by the ACLU on behalf of EMW Women’s Surgical Center – Kentucky’s only abortion clinic – the group claims that the bills are “blatantly unconstitutional bans on abortion.”

The suit asserts that the “Plaintiffs will prevail on their claim that the Bans are unconstitutional under 46 years of Supreme Court precedent, beginning with Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), which unequivocally holds that the State may not ban abortion before the point of fetal viability, regardless of the woman’s reason for her decision.”

“The Bans will cause immediate irreparable harm to [the] Plaintiffs and most of their patients by criminalizing abortion,” the ACLU added.

According to the AP, Bevin’s legal team saw the ACLU’s interpretation of Roe v. Wade as a “perverse distortion,” likening it to the protection of eugenics. The legal team said, “EMW and its abortionists have responded with a novel claim: Women have a constitutional right to undergo race-based abortions, gender-based abortions, and disability-based abortions. In (the) plaintiffs’ view, somewhere in the Fourteenth Amendment’s penumbra lies a secret protection of eugenics.”

Despite this, the AP reports that a federal judge quickly issued a temporary restraining order to block the SB9 heartbeat bill last week. On Wednesday, a federal judge also granted a temporary restraining order blocking the HB5 Bill, ACLU of Kentucky wrote on Twitter.

According to the AP, there is no indication yet as to when a hearing will be held to determine the constitutionality of the abortion bills.

Photo courtesy: Michalina/Unsplash