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ACLU sues to block new Kentucky law to ban abortions for race, sex, or disability

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FRANKFORT, Kentucky, March 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The left-wing American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has already filed a federal lawsuit against a Kentucky bill to ban abortions driven by discrimination against certain characteristics of the preborn child, the day after it passed the state legislature and before it’s even been signed into law.

Introduced by Republican state Rep. Melinda Gibbons Prunty, House Bill 5 would ban any abortion sought on the basis of the baby’s race, sex, color, national origin, or disability. Abortionists would be required to certify they were unaware of any such motive before aborting. Violators would be guilty of a Class D felony (punishable by one to five years in prison), see their medical licenses revoked or suspended, and be potentially liable for civil damages.

The state House voted 67-25 to pass the bill last month the state Senate voted Thursday to pass it 32-4.

Last month, University of Notre Dame developmental psychologist and public policy fellow Mary O’Callaghan testified before the House Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection that an estimated 70 percent of Down syndrome-diagnosed pregnancies end in abortion. “Make no mistake, preventing these children’s births through abortion is prenatal screening’s ultimate goal,” she warned.

The ACLU quickly announced it would be suing to block the law from being enforced, and made good on that threat late Thursday night, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Louisville, on behalf of EMW Women's Surgical Center in Louisville, the state's only abortion facility, on the grounds that the bill “strips a woman of her right to have an abortion if the commonwealth disapproves of her reason for seeking the care” and is merely “Kentucky’s latest attempt to prevent women from exercising their constitutionally protected right to abortion.”

Republican Matt Bevin, Kentucky’s vocally pro-life governor, already responded yesterday to the ACLU’s plans to sue, challenging them to “Bring it,” because “Kentucky will always fight for life.”

Bill sponsor Prunty said she was disappointed by the ACLU’s opposition to her “common sense” legislation, according to the Courier-Journal. “I think they should be on our side if they are against discrimination,” she said.

The law’s fate may be decided irrespective of this latest lawsuit, however. The U.S. Supreme Court is currently mulling whether to hear arguments regarding a 2016 Indiana law that includes the same abortion limits.

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