ACLU sues Kentucky over ultrasound abortion law

ACLU sues Kentucky over ultrasound abortion law
Gov. Matt Bevin (R-Ky.) speaks at the National Rifle Association's NRA-ILA Leadership Forum during the NRA Convention at the Kentucky Exposition Center on May 20, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit Monday attempting to block a new Kentucky law requiring an ultrasound prior to an abortion procedure.

The Ultrasound Informed Consent Act, which Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) signed into law Monday, also requires abortion providers to show and explain ultrasound images to women seeking abortions. The law contains a provision making it effective immediately.

The ACLU argued that the law is unconstitutional, saying the bill violates the right to privacy.

“The law is an example of political interference operating in its most perverse form,” Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, senior staff attorney at the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project, said in a statement. “A woman deserves to expect high quality compassionate care from her doctor. Instead, this law puts politicians in the exam room — squarely between a woman and her doctor.”

The ACLU said it is also reviewing another new Kentucky law banning abortion after 20 weeks gestation.

Bevin told the Associated Press that the ultrasound law is “sound legislation,” and he believes it will hold up in court. “This was crafted in a way to comply with existing law and to still exercise the sovereignty that this state has and this legislative body has to do certain things,” Bevin said.

The governor said the ACLU has a penchant for suing states over laws they don’t like, and he doesn’t think it will be the last time they sue Kentucky: “They sue often. It’s not just this state, that’s what they do. They are a bunch of liberal lawyers. They try to find resolution for everything they don’t like in the courts.”

The ACLU and the ACLU of Kentucky said they brought the suit on behalf of the EMW Women’s Surgical Center — which they describe as “the sole licensed outpatient abortion facility in the state.”

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