FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 30, 2018) – Fifteen states have filed an amicus brief in support of the Bevin Administration’s defense of a Kentucky law ensuring that women considering an abortion are shown ultrasound images of the unborn child and can listen to the unborn child’s heartbeat. The Kentucky General Assembly passed the informed-consent law by an overwhelming, bipartisan margin during the 2017 legislative session.
The amicus brief was filed by Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and West Virginia. The 15 states, represented by 13 attorneys general and two governors, argue that Kentucky’s law is constitutional because states have a substantial interest in regulating whether a patient is fully informed about a medical procedure, especially in the context of an abortion.
“This broad coalition of states coming to the defense of Kentucky’s law underscores the importance of ensuring that a woman is fully informed before choosing an abortion,” said Steve Pitt, General Counsel for Governor Bevin. “The U.S. Supreme Court and several other appellate courts have made crystal clear that informed-consent laws just like Kentucky’s are constitutional.”
In addition to the amicus brief filed by 15 states, two other amicus briefs were filed in support of the Bevin Administration. The first was filed by four women who underwent an abortion without receiving all relevant information, and the second was filed by CatholicVote.org.
The appeal regarding Kentucky’s ultrasound law is currently pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.