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EMW Women’s Surgical Center v. Meier [D and E ban]

The ACLU and ACLU of Kentucky filed a lawsuit on behalf of a group of abortion providers challenging HB 454, a Kentucky law that bans dilation and evacuation (D and E) abortions, the most commonly used method of ending a pregnancy in the second trimester if the probable post-fertilization age of the “unborn child” is 11 (eleven) weeks or greater.

Plaintiffs allege that the ban will expose patients to the risk of undergoing an additional invasive procedure so that doctors can remain in compliance with the so-called “partial birth” abortion ban. “This usually entails an injection of a medication called digoxin, and it increases the length, complexity and risk of the abortion without any medical benefit to the patient,” according to the Complaint. Plaintiffs further allege that the law imposes a criminal ban on abortion at 15 (fifteen) weeks.

According to Plaintiffs, the law violates their 14th Amendment due process rights to bodily integrity and privacy.


On April 12, 2018, Kentucky agreed not to enforce the law pending resolution of Plaintiffs request for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction.

On May 10, 2019, the district court issued a permanent injunction blocking the law.

On June 2, 2020, the Sixth Circuit blocked the law.


Complaint, April 10, 2018

Joint Agreement, April 12, 2018

District Court Order, May 10, 2019

Sixth Circuit Opinion, June 2, 2020

**last updated October 5, 2020