Last week, two laws that made it more difficult to obtain an abortion in the states of Indiana and Kentucky were struck down in a win for abortion access in the United States.
In Kentucky last week, a federal judge struck down HB 2, an anti-abortion law that requires patients seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound before the procedure. The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of EMW Women’s Surgical Center, the sole remaining abortion clinic in Kentucky that has been targeted by anti-choice groups who have staged blockades to prevent patients from entering the facility.
HB 2, signed into law by Governor Matt Bevin in January of this year, also requires abortion providers to describe the image on the ultrasound and play audio of the fetus’ heartbeat in the hopes of deterring the patients from following through with the abortion procedure.
Judge David Hale of the Western District of Kentucky handed down the decision that the law violates the First Amendment and “appears to inflict psychological harm on abortion patients.”
In Indiana last week, a federal judge struck down several provisions of an anti-abortion lawn HEA 1337 that outlawed abortions in cases of severe genetic abnormalities. The same law required all fetuses be cremated or buried.
In April of 2016, shortly after then Governor Mike Pence signed the bill into law, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky began a lawsuit against the state for restricting abortion access.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt handed down the decision that stated the provisions were unconstitutional and infringed on a patient’s due process rights and that there is no legal basis to have such strict restrictions on disposal of the fetus. In her decision Pratt stated that a “woman’s right to choose an abortion that is protected, which, of course, leaves no room for the State to examine, let alone prohibit, the basis or bases upon which a woman makes her choice.”
Media Resources: CNN 9/28/17; USA Today 9/28/17; The Washington Post 9/28/17; CBS 9/25/17; The Washington Post 9/25/17;