Judge Strikes Down Kentucky Abortion Ban

May 14, 2019 AT 7:35 AM

By Deborah Yetter

A federal judge has struck down a 2018 Kentucky law banning a type of abortion generally performed after the 14th week of pregnancy, a victory for abortion rights activists and a setback for the administration of Gov. Matt Bevin, which defended it.

In a ruling Friday, U.S. District Judge Joseph McKinley ruled the law is unconstitutional because it restricts a woman's constitutional right to an abortion before the fetus is considered viable, at around 24 weeks.

Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union, which had challenged the law, said they were pleased with the ruling.

“Today’s ruling affirms that health, not politics, will guide important medical decisions about pregnancy," said Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. "Laws like this are part of an orchestrated national strategy by anti-abortion politicians to push abortion out of reach entirely. Today’s decision holds — in no uncertain terms — that Kentuckians and the care they need come first."

Elizabeth Kuhn, Bevin's communications director, said in a statement Friday evening that the administration intends to appeal. "We profoundly disagree with the court’s decision and will take this case all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary, to protect unborn children from being dismembered limb by limb while still alive," she said. 

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