Pro-choice protesters kicked out of gallery as abortion bill passes Ky. Senate
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A bill with multiple restrictions on abortion passed the Senate 29-0 on Tuesday night after all but one Democrat walked out of the chambers before the vote.
House Bill 3 would ban abortion pills from being purchased online in Kentucky. Instead, women and girls would have to be seen by a doctor before undergoing the procedure.
Minors would also have to get written consent from at least one parent, and their doctor would have to wait at least 48 hours for the other parent to respond before performing the abortion.
Under the bill, girls could also petition a judge who would have 72 hours to decide whether she should have an abortion. Financial concerns would not be allowed as an excuse to be granted an abortion, and there would be no exemptions for victims of rape or incest.
In addition, the bill would change the current 20-week abortion ban to 15 weeks. After that time, abortions would be illegal.
House Bill 3 now sits on Gov. Andy Beshear’s desk, who will either veto the bill or sign it into law. If vetoed, lawmakers may still have time to override it once they return April 13 and 14.
The bill’s supporters say the restrictions are to ensure the health and safety of women and girls.
“House Bill 3 will prevent at home, pill by mail, do it yourself abortions that leave women to fend for themselves if medical complications arise,” Sen. Ralph Alvarado (D-Winchester) said.
Alvarado added House Bill 3 is even more important since the FDA lifted the in-person requirement to obtain abortion pills in Dec. 2021.
“Women may have that choice, but babies usually don’t get it,” Sen. Adrienne Southworth (R-Anderson) said. “And the reason we have to pass laws like this is to be sure babies have a say as well.”
While the bill won’t make abortions illegal in Kentucky, some worry it will end access in the state. They add legislators are inflicting their religions and morals onto women and girls with House Bill 3.
“This oversight is specifically designed to regulate a safe, effective medical procedure out of existence because you don’t believe in it,” Sen. Karen Berg (D-Louisville) said.
“This issue has nothing to do with politics, nothing to do with politics, this is a healthcare issue,” Jackie McGranahan, an ACLU-KY policy strategist said. “Abortion is healthcare and using it in this type of political way, it’s dangerous to people, it’s dangerous to pregnant people all over the state.”
The debate Tuesday became so heated, a protester cursed at a lawmaker and was kicked out. Several others were removed later.
“Constituents don’t have a voice at the table,” Tamarra Wieder, the Kentucky state director of Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates said. “Those directly impacted get very few opportunities to speak to legislators or hold their audience for more than a few seconds. I think it was a moment where people felt compelled to action, and they did.”
Wieder added if the bill passes, it would negatively impact poor Kentuckians and those who live in rural areas the most.
Planned Parenthood is now looking at ways to help women cross state lines to obtain abortions.
Copyright 2022 WAVE. All rights reserved.