Kentucky governor Matt Bevin held a ceremonial signing of an abortion discrimination ban in his state’s capital on Monday. House Bill 5, known as the Human Rights of the Unborn Child and Anti-Discrimination Act, prohibits a woman from aborting because of the baby’s “sex, race, color, national origin, or disability.” Such abortions are often known as selective abortions. The bill is already facing a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and has been prevented from going into effect.
Violation of the new law would be a felony offense, and any physician found participating in a selective abortion despite its prohibition would have his or her license revoked.
HB 5 passed the Kentucky General Assembly in March. Its co-sponsor, Rep. Nancy Tate, applauded its passage as a historic event. “Selective abortions, otherwise known as ‘designer abortions,’ have become more prevalent in an attempt to create a perfect child, based on an individual’s preference, for example, blonde hair and blue eyes,” she said. “We must stop and prevent two types of atrocities, euthanasia and designer abortions.”
Upon its passage, the bill was immediately challenged by the ACLU, which claims it is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge David J. Hale issued a restraining order to prevent the bill from taking effect while its constitutionality is determined.
Despite the legal setback, Gov. Bevin went ahead with his ceremonial signing of the bill on April 29. He hopes that it will make its way to the Supreme Court, where it could play a role in the larger fight of Roe v. Wade. “This very well could go to the Supreme Court, and I hope Kentucky will be a catalyst for overturning what has been a very detrimental law in our land,” he said.
“This is a historic day for Kentuckians and the pro-life movement,” the governor wrote on Facebook after his signing. “We are blessed to live in a state where legislators across the political spectrum have definitively said that denying a child the opportunity to live based solely on their skin color, gender or perceived disability is unacceptable. We will continue standing up unapologetically for life—the taking of innocent life in America must come to an end.”
The next step for the bill is a hearing in the United States District Court Western District of Kentucky.
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