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Hearing on Kentucky’s trigger law banning abortions underway

WAVE Louisville logo WAVE Louisville 7/6/2022 Natalia Martinez

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - An expert witness for the ACLU testified about the economic effects that could be expected if abortions were permanently illegal in Kentucky.

Dr. Jason Lindo, an economics health professor at Texas A&M was one of two witnesses called by the ACLU Wednesday morning during a hearing to determine whether Kentucky’s Constitution protects a woman’s right to an abortion.

Lindo testified low income and minority populations would be the ones most adversely affected by an abortion ban, describing an unplanned pregnancy as a “disruptive life event.”

Lindo stated that the pregnancy could lead to additional financial hardships as the woman is sometimes faced with providing for the child on their own. He also described other issues they might encounter such as the cost of daycare or a lack of continuing education.

Attorneys for the ACLU are attempting to block Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s motions to keep the abortion ban in place after the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe vs. Wade.

This weekend, a judge ruled against Cameron’s request essentially keeping abortions legal in the state for now.

The hearing, in Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Mitch Perry’s courtroom began with testimony from Dr. Ashley Bergin, an OBGYN and University of Louisville associate professor, detailing the health risks associated with pregnancy. Bergin also works at the EMW Women’s Clinic providing abortion and contraceptive care.

Attorneys representing pro-life organizations and Cameron cross examined Bergin about the number of abortion procedures she has performed during the 15-21 weeks of pregnancy. Bergin did agree that a fetus develops an independent heartbeat from that of its mother at about 8 weeks of gestation. Bergin declined to answer whether that heartbeat makes a fetus a human being.

The hearings will determine whether the ban will stay in place. They are expected to last until at least Friday.

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