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ACLU Challenging Ky. Abortion Law, Bevin Official Calls Move 'Disturbing'

Josh James

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal lawsuit to block a new Kentucky law putting more restrictions on abortions.

The ACLU filed the suit late Tuesday, shortly after Republican Gov. Matt Bevin signed the measure, which took effect immediately.

The law bans a common second trimester abortion procedure known as "dilation and evacuation." The procedure was used in 537 of 3,312 abortions done in Kentucky in 2016, according to state statistics. During legislative debates, the bill's supporters called the procedure "gruesome

The ACLU says the law disregards a woman's private medical decisions "in favor of a narrow, ideological agenda." It says the law forces women to either leave the state to undergo the procedure or forego the care.

A spokeswoman for Kentucky's Republican governor says a lawsuit seeking to block the state's new abortion law is "disturbing."

Elizabeth Kuhn is communications director for Gov. Matt Bevin. She said Wednesday that Kentucky's legislature overwhelmingly backed the new law putting more restrictions on abortions. The spokesperson says the procedure is "gruesome," and says few issues are as "commonsense" as protecting the most vulnerable from such a "horrific act."