Twenty state attorneys general submitted a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday supporting Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s efforts to defend a law banning brutal dismemberment abortions.
WYMT News reports Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich led the amicus brief, which argues that a lower court was wrong in refusing to allow Cameron to defend the law.
The brief accused a Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals panel of usurping the rights of the people of Kentucky “through procedural machinations.”
“The threats to these sovereign interests are particularly acute in this case,” the attorneys general wrote in the brief. “The panel majority’s actions must be reversed.”
Passed in 2018, the Kentucky law prohibits abortions “that will result in the bodily dismemberment, crushing or human vivisection of the unborn child” while he or she is still alive. These gruesome methods commonly are used in D&E abortions in the second trimester.
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According to state health data, 537 of the 3,312 abortions in Kentucky in 2016 were D&E abortions.
The American Civil Liberties Union is suing to block the law on behalf of EMW Women’s Surgical Center, currently the only abortion facility in Kentucky.
The brief filed this week supports Cameron’s efforts to defend the law after Gov. Andy Beshear, a pro-abortion Democrat, decided not to challenge a ruling blocking it.
Here’s more from the local news report:
Cameron’s team argued in defense of the law on behalf of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) earlier this year before the U.S. Court of Appeals, who upheld a permanent injunction against the law.
The new brief argues the lower court’s ruling to allow Cameron to defend the law “allowed the unilateral capitulation of a single unelected official to be the final word on whether a duly enacted law of Kentucky would be invalidated (and thus de facto repealed)…even though another Kentucky official—its Attorney General, who has unquestioned authority to represent Kentucky in federal court—sought to defend the constitutionality of the statute on the merits.”
The attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia joined Arizona in the brief.
Cameron previously said he wants to ensure the law continues to receive a full defense. In November, he filed an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“We would never allow the dismemberment of any other living being, and we are going to continue fighting, all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary, so that it can’t happen to unborn children,” he said.
Dismemberment abortion is a procedure in which the abortionist first dilates the woman’s cervix and then uses steel instruments to dismember and extract the baby from the uterus. The procedure is usually performed between 11 and 24 weeks LMP, when the baby is somewhere between the size of a lemon and a cantaloupe.
By 11 weeks, unborn babies already have fingers and toes, heartbeats and detectable brain waves. They can respond to touch, yawn, suck their thumbs and even show signs of being right or left handed.
Other states with dismemberment abortion laws include Arkansas, Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia. The abortion industry is challenging many of them in court.
The Dismemberment Abortion Ban is built in part on the precedent set in the U.S. Supreme Court case Gonzales v. Carhart (2007) which upheld the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban and scaled back the scope of Roe v. Wade. In the court’s opinion, former Justice Anthony Kennedy, a swing vote on abortion, described what occurs in a D&E abortion: “[F]riction causes the fetus to tear apart. For example, a leg might be ripped off the fetus… No one would dispute that for many, D&E is a procedure itself laden with the power to devalue human life.”