The Latest: Court upholds Kentucky’s ultrasound abortion law

April 4, 2019 GMT

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Latest on legal wrangling over abortion in Kentucky (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

A federal appeals court has upheld the constitutionality of a Kentucky law requiring doctors to perform ultrasounds and show fetal images to patients prior to abortions.

The 2-1 ruling Thursday by a 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel is a victory for Kentucky’s Republican Gov. Matt Bevin. The 2017 law was challenged by the state’s last remaining abortion clinic.

The law was struck down in a lower court, prompting Bevin to appeal.

The majority opinion said the law doesn’t violate a doctor’s First Amendment rights. It also said ultrasounds provide “relevant information.”


Kentucky’s law would force doctors to describe the ultrasound while the pregnant woman listens to the fetal heartbeat. Women could avert their eyes and ask to have the sound of the heartbeat turned off


3:20 p.m.

An abortion-rights group is disagreeing with Kentucky’s Democratic attorney general over the validity of a state law that could determine if the state’s only abortion clinic stays open.

The disagreement stems from a legal brief filed by Attorney General Andy Beshear supporting EMW Women’s Surgical Center in Louisville.

Beshear urged a federal appeals court to strike down a regulation on “transfer agreements” between an abortion clinic and a hospital and ambulance service in case of emergencies. But Beshear urged the court to not strike down the law underlying the regulation.

Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union asked the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a ruling that struck down both the law and regulation.

Beshear is an abortion-rights supporter who is running for Kentucky governor this year.