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The Latest: Newest abortion court fight opens in Kentucky

November 13, 2018

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The Latest on a federal trial over a lawsuit challenging a Kentucky abortion law (all times local):

11:45 a.m.

Attorneys for Kentucky’s socially conservative governor and the state’s only abortion clinic have opened their latest legal fight over an abortion-related law passed by the state’s Republican-run legislature.

This time, the fight is over a federal lawsuit challenging a state law aimed at a common second-trimester procedure to end pregnancies.

During opening statements Tuesday, ACLU attorney Alexa Kolbi-Molinas said the law would essentially ban abortions for women who are into their second trimester. She says the targeted procedure is the safest form of surgical abortion at that stage of pregnancy.

The state’s lead attorney, Steve Pitt, says the law does not create a “substantial obstacle” for women seeking abortions.

Pitt described the procedure as “brutal, gruesome and inhumane” that results in a fetus being torn apart “limb by limb.”

He says the law doesn’t ban the procedure but requires that other methods be used first to cause fetal demise. Kolbi-Molinas says those methods can result in medical risks to patients.

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12 a.m.

Attorneys for Kentucky’s Republican governor and the state’s only abortion clinic are ready for their next legal fight.

The two sides will start presenting their case Tuesday over a lawsuit challenging a new state law that would restrict the use of a second-trimester abortion procedure. The law was suspended shortly after the lawsuit was filed in April.

The federal trial is expected to last through the week.

Lawyers for the clinic say the law amounts to an unconstitutional ban on the most common method of second-trimester abortions.

Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration says the procedure is a “particularly gruesome form of abortion.”

Abortion-rights advocates say it’s the safest method of second-trimester abortions.

It’s the latest in a series of legal fights between Bevin’s administration and the American Civil Liberties Union.

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