LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The ACLU and the EMW Clinic are challenging House Bill 454 At the federal courthouse in downtown Louisville.

The General Assembly passed the law, and Gov. Matt Bevin signed it earlier this year. House Bill 454 restricts a common second trimester abortion procedure called dilation and evacuation, or D and E, which tears apart the fetus.

The law outlaws the procedure, unless the fetus is first killed in the womb by lethal injection.

Attorneys for the Bevin administration say the case boils down to the state’s right to regulate the practice of medicine. However, the ACLU says the law places an undue burden on women seeking abortions and increases the risk.

"The impact is going to be, essentially, a ban on abortion in Kentucky after a certain point in pregnancy, and that is going to put health and lives of Kentucky women at risk," said Alexa Kolby-Molinas, an ACLU attorney.

"This legislation does not ban the D&E procedure," said Steve Pitt, an attorney for the Bevin administration. "All it does is add a condition that the physician ensure the demise of the child before this gruesome, brutal procedure takes place."

Attorneys will present additional written briefs and depositions over the next couple of months, and it could be months after that before Judge Joseph McKinley rules.

No matter what the judge decides, the case will be appealed.

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