A judge has temporarily blocked two Kentucky laws that would effectively ban abortion in nearly all circumstances, claiming that the idea of life beginning at conception is a “distinctly Christian” view.
Two abortion clinics recently filed suit against Kentucky over two laws: one that bans most abortions after six weeks into a pregnancy and a trigger ban set to take effect due to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade in June.
Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Mitch Perry issued an order last Friday granting a temporary injunction against the state enforcing the two laws, building off of an earlier injunction.
Perry concluded that the plaintiffs suing the state over the two laws had “demonstrated at the very least a substantial question as to the merits regarding the constitutionality of both the Trigger Ban and the Six Week Ban.”
“As such, they are entitled to injunctive relief until the matter can be fully resolved on the merits,” Perry said, noting that the injunction will be in effect “pending full resolution of this matter on the merits, until further order of this Court.”
The judge also took issue with the apparent premise of the laws that life begins at conception, claiming that this was “a distinctly Christian and Catholic belief” and thus violated the state constitution’s prohibition on establishing a religion.
“Other faiths hold a wide variety on when life begins and at what point a fetus should be recognized as an independent human being,” Perry wrote.
“The laws at issue here, adopt the view embraced by some, but not all, religious traditions, that life begins at the moment of conception. The General Assembly is not permitted to single out and endorse the doctrine of a favored faith for preferred treatment.”
Many pro-life advocacy groups that believe life begins at conception are not religious. Those include Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising, Secular Pro-Life, Rehumanize International and Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians.
Pro-life advocates have long emphasized the scientific arguments for the pro-life viewpoint.
Jeanne Mancini, the president of the March for Life, said in 2018 when unveiling the theme of the 2019 march that "Science is behind the pro-life movement."
"We see that medical and technological advancements always affirm the pro-life movement," Mancini said. "For example, DNA is present at fertilization and no fingerprint on earth, past, present, or future, is the same. We know, too, a baby’s heart beats at just six weeks and we can distinctly observe it ourselves with ultrasound technology."
In a 2019 survey of approximately 5,500 biologists that was part of a dissertation, 96% of them responded that they believe that human life began at fertilization.