LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Legal Newsline) – A health care facility and two obstetrician-gynecologists are challenging the Commonwealth of Kentucky's latest ban on abortion.

EMW Women's Surgical Center, P.S.C., on behalf of itself, its staff and its patients, et al. filed a complaint on April 10 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, Louisville Division against Andrew G. Beshear, in his official capacity as attorney general of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, et al. citing the 14th Amendment.

According to the complaint, on April 10, the governor signed into law House Bill 454, "which bans the safest and most commonly used method of abortion starting early in the second trimester, and the only method used in outpatient facilities after the earliest weeks of the second trimester, dilation and evacuation (or D&E).  Because of the statute’s unusual and extraordinarily disruptive emergency clause (the premise of which is incontrovertibly undermined by the governor having held the bill for ten days before signing it), it took effect instantaneously. The result is severe: It has extinguished access to abortion in Kentucky for every woman at and after 15 weeks of pregnancy," the suit states.

The plaintiffs allege the creation and passing of the bill have left their "patients suffering medical, constitutional and irreparable harm as a result of being denied the ability to obtain an abortion at all."

"The Act has forced plaintiffs to cancel the appointments of patients seeking time-sensitive and constitutionally protected health care, and will force them to continue turning patients away," the suit states.

The plaintiffs seek a declaration that H.B. 454 is unconstitutional and unenforceable; reasonable attorney's fees, costs and expenses; and such other and further relief as the court may deem just, proper and equitable. They are represented by Amy D. Cubbage and Heather L. Gatnarek of American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky in Louisville, Kentucky and Andrew Beck, Talcott Camp and Elizabeth Watson of American Civil Liberties Union Foundation in New York.

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, Louisville Division case number 3:18-cv-00224-JHM-DW

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