Kentucky Gov Appeals Judge’s Ruling Denying Women Ultrasound of Their Baby Before Abortion

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Sep 29, 2017   |   11:36AM   |   Frankfort, KY

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin announced plans to appeal a judge’s decision earlier this week to strike down a state law that helps make sure women are fully informed before having an abortion.

Amanda Stamper, a spokeswoman for the pro-life governor, said Bevin was disappointed by the ruling, but his administration is hopeful that the courts eventually will uphold the law, the AP reports. She said the state plans to appeal immediately.

The Ultrasound Informed Consent Act, which passed in January, requires abortionists to perform an ultrasound and describe the image of the unborn baby prior to an abortion. It also requires that women be given the opportunity to hear their unborn baby’s heartbeat, which begins about four weeks after conception.

U.S. District Judge David Hale blocked the Kentucky law Wednesday, ruling it violates doctors’ First Amendment right to free speech.

Hale, who was appointed by pro-abortion President Barack Obama, also basically said women are too emotionally fragile to handle basic, scientific facts about human development. It’s more important that they be shielded from the facts and allowed to abort their unborn babies in ignorance, than be told the harsh truth.

“Requiring physicians to force upon their patients the information mandated by [the Ultrasound Informed Consent Act] has more potential to harm the psychological well-being of the patient than to further the legitimate interests of the Commonwealth,” Hale wrote in his decision, according to USA Today.

The ACLU and EMW Women’s Clinic, the last abortion facility in Kentucky, challenged the law earlier this year. They celebrated the ruling Wednesday, claiming the law is “demeaning and degrading” to women.

But many women do not feel the same way. State Rep. Addia Wuchner spoke out against the judge’s ruling Wednesday.

“I just feel strongly that women have to have all the information when making their health decisions,” Wuchner told WLKY News. “Women are making some very difficult decisions with many complexities, and this piece of legislation also allowed them to make complete and informed decisions.”

Another female lawmaker, State Rep. Kimberly Moser, R-Taylor Mill, also has been a strong advocate of the legislation.

Moser previously explained the bill will help to ensure that women are fully informed before making a final decision about an abortion.

“It is with accurate information that a patient can make an informed decision regarding their treatment, whether it is treatment for a brain tumor requiring an MRI or CAT scan, or if it is to determine the health and the progress of a pregnancy through an ultrasound,” Moser said.

The Ultrasound Informed Consent Act requires medical staff to perform an ultrasound prior to the abortion and allow the woman to see it if she chooses. It also requires the medical staff to describe the image of the unborn baby, its size, organs and other features and allow the mother to hear the baby’s heartbeat.

Abortion facilities almost always perform ultrasounds prior to an abortion to check the gestational age of the unborn baby. An ultrasound also is vital in determining if the pregnancy is ectopic, a potentially life-threatening condition. But many post-abortive women have said they were denied the opportunity to see their unborn baby’s ultrasound image before their abortion.

Right now, 26 states have some requirement in place about giving the woman information about the ultrasound prior to the abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute.