A federal court issued an order Wednesday night striking down a Kentucky law that forced doctors to display and describe a woman’s ultrasound, as well as play the heartbeat, even if the doctor believed it would harm the patient or it was against her wishes.
U.S. District Court Judge David J. Hale of the Western District of Kentucky said in a one-page ruling that the law violated the First Amendment rights of doctors.
The case was brought by the ACLU on behalf of EMW Women’s Surgical Center in Louisville. Gov. Matt Bevin sought to shut down the clinic, the state’s lone abortion provider, in March, though a judge issue a restraining order to prevent closure. A three-day trial was held this month and final written arguments were due in 60 days with another federal judge to rule after that.
In a statement, Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project, said: “We are pleased that Kentucky women will no longer be subjected to this demeaning and degrading invasion into their personal health care decisions. This ruling puts us one step closer to getting Kentucky politicians out of the exam room.”