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A Woman’s Right to Know Bills Scheduled for Hearing March 2019 Mar

Three important bills related to a woman’s right to have all the information she needs to give informed consent before undergoing a surgical or medical abortion are up for discussion in the March 20th meeting of the House Standing Committee on Health and Welfare: HB 575, SB 3, and SB 8.

Rep. Gerald Watkins

Rep. Gerald Watkins, sponsor of HB 575, has asked the Catholic Conference to testify. The Conference has provided Rep. Watkins our prepared testimony and committee staff will distribute it to all Health and Welfare committee members.

In part, the Conference stated:

House Bill 575 represents a commonsense approach to ensure that women facing a difficult decision have all the information needed to consider their choices while fully protecting their privacy.

Catholic moral and social teaching strongly emphasizes the importance, the inherent dignity, of the human person. Individuals exercise their basic rights in the midst of the community. In addition to the right to life, to religious freedom, to freedom of conscience, and to other goods such as education, we recognize a basic right to health care that respects the dignity and autonomy of each human person.

Thus, a person’s right to health care extends beyond access to medical procedures and includes access to the relevant and useful information needed when making a major decision regarding one’s health care.

All three bills have strong bi-partisan support in the House chamber. House Bill 575 has 59 co-sponsors in addition the Rep. Watkins and the principal co-sponsor, Rep. Robert Benvenuti III. In addition to supporting HB 575, the Conference strongly supports all of these  commonsense measures. Because each of these has more than enough support to pass on the House floor, the Catholic Conference of Kentucky urges that Health and Welfare Committee members these bills with a YES vote and not deprive the full House the opportunity to consider them on the floor of their chamber.

Photo: Kentucky Legislative Research Commission

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