Gov. Bevin Files U.S. Supreme Court Brief in Defense of Kentucky's Ultrasound Informed Consent Law

commonwealth of kentucky

Commonwealth of Kentucky
Governor's Office


Media Contact: Nicole Burton

Gov. Bevin Files U.S. Supreme Court Brief
in Defense of Kentucky's Ultrasound Informed Consent Law

Urges Court to deny abortion clinic's appeal in HB 2 ultrasound case

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 4, 2019) – Gov. Matt Bevin last week, on behalf of the people of the Commonwealth, filed a legal brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reject EMW Women's Surgical Center's appeal in the House Bill 2 ultrasound case.

In April 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld the constitutionality of HB 2 (2017), which 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.

In June 2019, the Sixth Circuit rejected a request by the Louisville abortion clinic to have that Court rehear the case en banc (before the entire bench).

"The Sixth Circuit affirmed that the HB 2 ultrasound law underscores the commonsense notion that patients should be well equipped with relevant information before making important medical decisions," said Steve Pitt, Gov. Bevin's General Counsel. "This legal appeal by the EMW Women's Surgical Center is simply another desperate attempt to undermine a Kentucky law, which passed with the support of more than 87 percent of state legislators."

Attorney General Andy Beshear refused to fully defend this law, arguing simply that he should not have to be involved — a position that one member of the Court expressed bewilderment about during oral argument.

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,
  • SB 8 (2017) – defunding Planned Parenthood,
  • SB 112 (2018) – banning telehealth chemical abortions,
  • HB 454 (2018) – banning the barbaric practice of live dismemberment abortion,
  • SB 9 (2019) – banning abortions after a baby’s heartbeat has been detected,
  • SB 50 (2019) – requiring doctors to present information to patients about the reversal of medications abortions,
  • HB 5 (2019) – banning abortions based on race, gender, and perceived disability, and
  • HB 148 – banning abortions in Kentucky if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Gov. Bevin's legal team is also currently defending HB 454 (live dismemberment law), SB 9 (fetal heartbeat law), and HB 5 (anti-eugenics law) in federal court.

To access a copy of the Bevin Administration's HB 2 brief filed before the U.S. Supreme Court, click here.