The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a new Kentucky law requiring women seeking abortions to undergo an ultrasound first.
The lawsuit, filed at U. S. District Court in Louisville, seeks to overturn the ultrasound law approved by the General Assembly on Jan. 7.
"It forces physicians to deliver a government-mandated, ideological message to patients in violation of the First Amendment, all the while causing harm to their patients," the ACLU claims in the lawsuit. "It also compels women to listen to this government-mandated speech while lying captive on the examination table."
Gov. Matt Bevin said he's not surprised by the suit.
"This is a good piece of legislation," Bevin said. "This was crafted in a way to comply with existing law and still exercise the sovereignty this state and this legislative body has."
The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of EMW Women's Center in Louisville, its staff and patients and three physicians and their patients.
Named as defendants are Attorney General Andy Beshear, Health and Family Services Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson and Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure Executive Director Michael Rodman.
Representatives of the ACLU said their legal analysis is still underway on another Kentucky bill approved last week that bans late-term abortions except when the mother's life is in danger.
Tom Latek writes for Kentucky Today (www.kentuckytoday.com), a news resource of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.