FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Kentucky House votes to pass House Bill 3 Wednesday afternoon.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky responded to the decision.
“House Bill 3 is designed to push a safe and effective method of abortion care out of reach, shame and ostracize patients, and make the process of seeking and providing abortion care so difficult that patients will forgo care and providers will close their doors.
The House passage of House Bill 3 demonstrates abject ignorance of medical science and is a dangerous effort to push important reproductive healthcare out of reach for all Kentuckians, regardless of their circumstances."
While ACLU-KY believes the bill is unclear and could "unintentionally harm Kentuckians who have had a medication abortion or miscarriage," the Family Foundation applauds the bill's sponsor and the House chamber.
“House Bill 3 protects the health and safety of both the mother and her preborn child,” explained David Walls, Executive Director of The Family Foundation. “We look forward to seeing this commonsense, broadly supported pro-life bill becoming law in our Commonwealth.”
Kentucky Right to Life, a group fighting against abortion, rallied at the Capitol on Tuesday in support of legislation restricting abortion access in Kentucky.
"This is a 'Yes For Life' rally," said the group's executive director, Addia Wuchner.
Wuchner and other anti-abortion advocates spoke in favor of House Bill 3, the omnibus abortion bill that adds sweeping new restrictions to abortion access in Kentucky.
"We are a movement bearing witness to the sanctity of life from conception to natural death," she told the crowd.
What they want causes Dr. Hanna Peterson, an OB-GYN from Louisville, to worry for her patients.
"I'm very scared for my patients," said Peterson. "I'm scared that they're not going to be able to access the care they seek."
Planned Parenthood advocates warned that Kentucky's bill will harm women, especially poor women who already struggle to get access to abortion.
"If you're in Appalachia, you're going to have to drive to Illinois," said Tamarra Wieder, the state director for Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates. "It's hard enough to get to Louisville. But think about having to go even further, take more time off from work or school, more time for daycare for the children you already have - because most people seeking abortions already have children."
So, those in support of abortion rights told lawmakers to stay out of personal medical decisions.
"Our choice is ours, and it's none of your business," said Robin Kunkel, who testified against the bill.
Rep. Pamela Stevenson, who voted against the bill in the House Veterans, Military Affairs, & Public Protection Committee, agreed with that sentiment. She told anti-abortion advocates if they don't like abortion, they can choose to not have one.
"Under current law, if you don't want to have an abortion, don't have one," said Stevenson. "Just don't have one."
But Stevenson and other abortion-rights supporters on the committee couldn't stop the bill from moving forward on Tuesday.
GOP Rep Bill Wesley told pro-abortion advocates that the legislature must get involved to protect the unborn.
"We're talking about the life of a human being - a baby," he said.
Those who attended the anti-abortion rally agreed with Wesley.
"Every life matters. Every life matters. Even in the womb," said Angela Minter as she spoke to the crowd.
The group not only supports restricting access to abortion, it also wants Kentucky lawmakers to do what they can to ban abortion altogether.
However, abortion rights are legally protected by Roe v Wade. So, Kentucky lawmakers are unable to do what the group wants. But they can take action that could go into effect if Roe v Wade is overturned by the United States Supreme Court. And Attorney General Daniel Cameron told the crowd that he believes "Roe's days are numbered."
GOP Rep. Joe Fischer told the crowd Kentucky already has anti-abortion trigger laws on the book, and they will go into effect if the Supreme Court takes action.
"We will see the end of all legalized abortion in Kentucky and in many states throughout the nation," said Fischer.
However, Kentucky lawmakers want to take things one step further. They want to change the Kentucky Constitution, so the document specifically states that abortion is not allowed.
In order to do that, they need voters to agree. So, in November, amendment #2 on the ballot will be asking voters what they want to do with abortion.
"Constitutional amendment number two, if passed, will prevent Kentucky courts from implementing their own Roe v Wade," explained Secretary of State Michael Adams.
Anti-abortion supporters hope voters say yes to making abortion illegal. Pro-abortion rights supporters hope voters say no.