abortion

A Kentucky Senate committee has overwhelmingly approved a measure that would require women to have a face-to-face meeting with a doctor or health care provider before having an abortion.

The Senate Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection passed the measure on an 8-to-2 vote Thursday morning. The bill will next be heard by the full Senate next week.

Supporters believe it has a good chance of passing the Senate, but similar measures have repeatedly died in House committees during previous legislative sessions.

Opponents argue the requirement of a face-to-face meeting would place undue burdens on women seeking abortions.

A Republican lawmaker has amended a bill expanding domestic violence protections for dating couples to include language limiting abortions.

Rep. Joe Fischer of Ft. Thomas says he believes abortion is a form of domestic violence.

“The most brutal form of domestic violence is the violence against unborn children," the northern Kentucky Republican said. "And, this particular bill would prohibit abortions after the fetus feels pain, which is 20 weeks and older.”

The amendment will have to come up for inclusion on the House floor. It's likely to attract criticism from Democrats who will say it isn’t germane to the legislation.

The bulk of scientific literature on the subject suggests that fetuses do not feel pain before 24 weeks of gestation.

The United States Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a similar case today Monday regarding an Arizona law that would ban abortions at 20 weeks. That effectively preserved a previous ruling that the Arizona law was unconstitutional.

Several Democrats in the Kentucky House have filed a bill that would make it a felony for doctors not to consult with patients seeking abortions a day before the procedure.

The bill is one of many filed this year that would limit abortion access.

Derek Selznick, Reproductive Freedom Project Director of the ACLU of Kentucky, says this bill and others would most severely affect women outside of major cities.

“If a woman is from a rural part of the state, that means she’s gonna have to get a hotel. If she works an hourly job, she’s out two days’ wages. All of these are serious impediments that offer really no higher quality of care. All they do is put a higher burden on a woman seeking abortion.”

Selznick says the bill is cobbled together from Republican proposals in the Senate.

Jonathan Meador, Kentucky Public Radio

Arguing that some Kentucky legislators routinely file bills that would be, if enacted, harmful to women, activists rallied Saturday outside the state Capitol to support what they called "reproductive justice" in advance of the 2014 General Assembly session.

Roughly 75 activists caravanned from Louisville to Frankfort to advocate for legislation that would expand access to abortion and contraceptives, family support programs and comprehensive, science-based sex education.

Speakers at the rally lambasted what some called "religious conservatives" in Kentucky legislature who constantly introduce legislation that they claim harm low-income women.

"In Kentucky, year after year, there are proposals that continue to go before the legislature that would seek to limit a person's access to comprehensive sexuality education; seek to limit a person's access to the full range of pregnancy-related healthcare, including contraception and abortion; and seek to deny family support," Dawn Cooley, a minister at Louisville's First Unitarian Church, told the crowd.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul warned a crowd at a religious college that scientific advances—coupled with abortion—could be used to eliminate those who are deemed to be undesirable.

Sen. Paul made the comments at Liberty University in Virginia, while campaigning on behalf of Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli. Paul, a Bowling Green Republican, said that those who are considered less intelligent or even overweight could be eliminated through abortion.

Paul was addressing an audience during the weekly convocation services at Liberty, the school founded by the late evangelical leader Jerry Falwell. Paul told his audience “in your lifetime, much of your potential—or lack thereof—can be known simply by swabbing the inside of your cheek. Are we prepared to select out the imperfect among us?”

Paul has become an active campaigner on behalf of other conservative Republican candidates across the nation, including Cuccinelli, who is taking on Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the Virginia Governor’s race that will be decided Nov. 5.

Two Seperate Abortion Measures Pass Kentucky Senate

Feb 8, 2013
Kentucky LRC

Doctors would be required to make ultrasound images available to women seeking abortions under legislation passed by the Senate on Friday.

The Senate also passed a separate measure that would require women get face-to-face consultations with medical professionals before undergoing abortions.

Both measures passed the Republican-controlled Senate 31-4.

Similar proposals have repeatedly cleared the Senate in recent years only to die in the Democratic-controlled House. And the prognosis is no better this year.

Rep. Tom Burch, chairman of the House Health and Welfare Committee, said he doesn't believe the proposals have enough support to clear his panel.

A Republican congressman from Tennessee is telling supporters he’s not a hypocrite for discussing abortion with a mistress more than a decade ago. But now he may have to defend his medical license.

The highest ranking Republican in the U.S. Senate is calling on his party's candidate to abandon his Missouri campaign. Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell joins a growing number of Republicans who regard Rep. Todd Akin's chances to win the race seriously diminished following recent comments on abortion.

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