The Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to hear its first abortion-related case with a conservative majority, which could set the stage for future pro-life fights at the nation’s highest court.
In 2018, the state of Kentucky passed H.B. 454, a bill that would ban an abortion practice known as dilation and evacuation (D&E), where an abortionist dismembers a preborn baby in the womb and crushes the skull after the amniotic fluid is removed. It’s usually performed on preborn babies ages 13 to 24 weeks. (An animated video, created by Live Action and featuring former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino, explains the gruesome procedure in graphic detail.)
The law was immediately challenged by the state’s sole abortion clinic, EMW Women’s Surgical Center, with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). A trial court struck it down as unconstitutional, and the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed.
At the time, the state took the case no further. But new Attorney General Daniel Cameron decided to change that after he won the election in 2020.
“I promised Kentuckians that I would defend our laws all the way to the United States Supreme Court, and that’s what we’ve done,” Cameron said in a statement. “Since day one in office, we’ve fought to defend House Bill 454, even when the (Andy) Beshear administration refused to defend it. This law reflects the conscience of Kentucky.”
However, this case isn’t as much about abortion but instead focuses on whether Cameron or other attorney generals have the authority to continue pursuing a case, even when the governor disagrees.
“Our decision to intervene was easy because it’s personal to us, it’s personal to you all, but even more important than that, it’s right by the United States Constitution and, again, we are going to defend it,” Cameron said in a speech posted on Twitter.
The pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List praised Cameron and the Court’s decision. In a statement, President Marjorie Dannenfelser said, “It is encouraging news that the Supreme Court will hear this case. We commend Attorney General Daniel Cameron for doing everything in his power to defend Kentucky’s pro-life laws, including its ban on barbaric live-dismemberment abortions, which was enacted with overwhelming bipartisan support. State legislators acting on the will of the people have both the duty and the right to protect their most vulnerable citizens – born and unborn. We look forward to seeing this right upheld.”
Though the abortion case itself won’t be discussed, this case could have larger implications for the future of the abortion debate, as it would give pro-life state leaders the ability to protect preborn babies by allowing them to pursue legal protections even without the governor’s approval or support.
If the court sides with Cameron, it would also give him the authority to continue pursuing the case through the court system where it could eventually challenge Roe v. Wade.
The case is Cameron v. EMW Women’s Surgical Center.
Focus on the Family has a ministry called Option Ultrasound, which provides pro-life pregnancy resource centers with ultrasound machines.
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