ACLU Kentucky files lawsuit against state's ban on abortion procedure

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky filed a suit late Tuesday to block a state law that bans a common second-trimester abortion procedure, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

Elizabeth Kuhn, a communications director for Kentucky’s Republican governor Matt Bevin, called the lawsuit “disturbing,” and said House Bill 454 was overwhelmingly backed by Kentucky’s legislature.

The law bans a common abortion procedure known as "dilation and evacuation," for women who are 11 weeks or more pregnant except in cases of emergencies, the paper reported.

The ACLU lawsuit was filed shortly after Bevin signed the measure late Tuesday, which took effect immediately. The group had repeatedly threatened to challenge the law as it made its way through the legislature.

Few issues should be as commonsense as protecting the most vulnerable among us from the horrific act of being torn from limb to limb while still alive.

- Elizabeth Kuhn, communications director for Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin

“Kentucky’s elected representatives voted overwhelmingly this session to safeguard unborn children against the gruesome practice of live dismemberment abortion,” Kuhn said. “Few issues should be as commonsense as protecting the most vulnerable among us from the horrific act of being torn from limb to limb while still alive.”

According to state statistics cited by the Herald-Leader, the procedure was used in 537 of 3,312 abortions performed in Kentucky in 2016.

The ACLU said the law disregards a woman's private medical decisions "in favor of a narrow, ideological agenda." It says the law forces women to either leave the state to undergo the procedure or forego the care.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Bradford Betz is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bradford_betz.