Gov. Bevin Fighting Abortion Clinic's Petition for Rehearing in Pro-Life Case

commonwealth of kentucky

Commonwealth of Kentucky
Governor's Office


Media Contact: Nicole Burton

Gov. Bevin Fighting Abortion Clinic's
Petition for Rehearing in Pro-Life Case

EMW Women's Surgical Center seeking
'do-over' of HB 2 ultrasound ruling

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 14, 2019)
 – Gov. Matt Bevin's legal team this week filed a response opposing EMW Women's Surgical Center's petition for rehearing in a recent federal court case that resulted in a major pro-life victory for the Commonwealth.

In contrast, Attorney General Andy Beshear refused to say anything in defense of the law, arguing simply that he should not have to be involved.

In April, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld the constitutionality of House Bill 2 (2017). HB 2 requires an abortion provider to provide mothers with an ultrasound and a description of what it depicts, as well as the opportunity to hear the fetal heartbeat, before she chooses to terminate her pregnancy.

The Louisville abortion clinic is asking the Court to rehear the case en banc (before the entire bench) in a desperate attempt to undermine the Kentucky law, which passed with the support of more than 87 percent of state legislators.

"Rehearing a case en banc is an extraordinary legal procedure, not simply a flippant opportunity for a do-over," said Steve Pitt, general counsel for Gov. Bevin. "In this case, the panel majority faithfully applied the relevant Supreme Court precedent to determine that the legislation at issue is constitutional. Thus, granting en banc rehearing is neither warranted under the rules nor a useful investment of the Court's time."

In addition to HB 2, Gov. Bevin has worked with the General Assembly to enact several vital pieces of pro-life legislation, including:

  • SB 4 (2016) – requiring informed consent (in-person or via real-time video),
  • SB 5 (2017) – protecting children after 20 weeks of gestation,
  • HB 454 (2018) – banning the gruesome practice of live dismemberment abortion,
  • SB 9 (2019) – banning abortions after a baby’s heartbeat has been detected, and
  • HB 5 (2019) – banning abortions based on race, gender, and perceived disability.

Gov. Bevin's legal team is also currently defending HB 454, SB 9, and HB 5 in federal court.

To access a copy of Gov. Bevin's filing in the HB 2 case, click here.