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Seven abortion bills pending in Kentucky legislature

Posted at 8:16 PM, Feb 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-26 20:35:46-05

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Over the last few years, Kentucky lawmakers passed several abortion bans. This year, they're continuing that work.
Currently, there are seven bills pending in the Kentucky legislature that would affect abortion in Kentucky.

  1. Senate Bill 9 - the born alive bill

The bill would protect infants born alive during a late-term abortion. Critics say the bill is unnecessary because late-term abortions are not legal in Kentucky. Currently, state law cuts off abortion at 20 weeks. However, the bill's sponsor, Sen. Whitney Westerfield, says the bill is a precautionary measure.

2. Senate Bill 90 - the conscience bill
The bill would allow doctors and other health care workers to choose not to provide a procedure or medication, if they have moral or ethical concerns. The bill also allows insurance companies to refuse to pay for the procedures.

This worries critics who believe the bill will limit access to reproductive services, like abortion and birth control. However, the bill's sponsor says the bill is meant to protect those in healthcare from doing something they disagree with.

3. House Bill 67 - the total abortion ban
This bill is a constitutional amendment that would change the state's constitution to specify that abortion is not a right in Kentucky. If lawmakers pass this bill, voters would then see the issue on the November ballot. Since this is a constitutional change, voters will need to decide whether they want such a measure or not.

4. House Bill 142 - the "gag rule" bill
The bill would ban public funding for any group that provides abortions - including those who counsel or refer patients for abortion. Opponents nicknamed the bill the "gag rule" because they believe it violates the first amendment by stopping people from talking about abortion. However, the bill's sponsor says the bill does not violate federal law.

5. House Bill 370 - the fetal remains bill
The bill requires that fetal remains be cremated or buried by a licensed group. The bill makes improper disposal of fetal remains a felony and it prohibits selling fetal tissue.

6. House Bill 391 - the abortion audit bill
The bill would allow the state auditor to check whether hospitals and abortion clinics are reporting all abortions to the state Office of Vital Statistics. Currently, that is a state requirement.

7. House Bill 451 - the Attorney General enforcement bill
This bill would allow the Attorney General of Kentucky to take action against any abortion group violating state law. Currently, state law allows the attorney general to get a court injunction with permission from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.