LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Planned Parenthood has issued a statement on Kentucky’s controversial new law that bans abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.
Senate Bill 9, called the fetal heartbeat bill by supporters and the six-week abortion law by detractors, effectively bans abortions approximately six weeks into pregnancy. Planned Parenthood advocates said may be too early for many women to even know they are pregnant.
The ACLU estimates that SB 9 would prohibit 90% of the abortions in Kentucky.
“Politicians should not be involved in personal medical decisions about pregnancy,” Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky CEO Chris Charbonneau said in the statement. “We don’t turn to politicians for advice about mammograms, prenatal care, contraception or cancer treatment for abnormal pap tests. Abortion is a deeply personal and often complex decision.”
The bill, which can be read here, “requires a person who intends to perform an abortion to determine whether the unborn has a detectable fetal heartbeat" and prohibits the provider from performing an abortion if a heartbeat is detected. If the abortion is performed to save a woman’s life or for the benefit of her health, the provider must provide documentation. A physician can lose his or her license for failing to follow the law. The bill also establishes criminal penalties for violations.
Kentucky passed several other laws Thursday which restricted abortion: Senate Bill 50, House Bill 5 and House Bill 148. House Bill 5, called the “Reason Bill," prohibits abortion if the woman’s decision is based on the potential for a disability, sex, race, color or national origin of the embryo or fetus.
After the laws were passed Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union announced that it would sue the state of Kentucky once Gov. Bevin signed the bill into law.
The lawsuit filed Friday by the ACLU calls the bans on abortion “blatantly unconstitutional” and said they would cause “irreparable harm.” Senate Bill 9 is specifically named in the first paragraph of the lawsuit, as is House Bill 5. Complaints were also filed against SB 50 and HB 148.
Late Friday, a judge granted the ACLU’s request for “immediate, emergency relief” to block the enforcement of SB 9. The last-minute court ruling allowed Kentucky’s only remaining abortion provider to continue seeing patients.
Over the last several years, the Kentucky legislature has passed or attempted to enforce other laws restricting access to abortion care, including some laws that would have shut down the last remaining clinic in the state. The clinic and ACLU have gone to court to challenge all three of those laws; all three were eventually blocked.
The full statement of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky CEO Chris Charbonneau is below:
The full statement from Planned Parenthood of America President Dr. Leana Wen is below: