Kentucky just joined the list of states that are prohibited from requiring women to undergo ultrasounds 24 hours prior to having an abortion.
Western District of Kentucky Judge David Hale overturned the measure, saying in his ruling that it violates the First Amendment, according to CNN. The judge’s ruling comes after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit arguing that the bill violates a woman’s rights by imposing unnecessary requirements on her abortion procedure. “HB2 requires physicians to subject their patients to these images, descriptions, and sounds, when the patient is in a particularly vulnerable and exposed position,” their complaint reads.
The law was enacted in January and required doctors to conduct an ultrasound, show the expectant mother images of the unborn child, and offer audio of the baby’s heartbeat. “This is truly a new day in Kentucky,” Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said after the law was was initially passed. The bill did note, however, that the woman could choose not to look at the images and ask the doctor to turn the volume down of the heart beating so as to be almost inaudible.
The judge’s ruling also follows a legal battle which started in March after Bevin said that the state’s last clinic abortion didn’t have the required transfer agreements and tried to close it. The clinic — EMW Women’s Surgical Centers — was granted a temporary restraining order but allowed to stay open, and its fate still remains in limbo, according to the Associated Press. (RELATED: Kentucky’s Last Abortion Clinic Braces For Shutdown).
Only 26 out of 50 states have ultrasound requirements prior to abortion.
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