Democratic House Leaders Kill Women’s Rights Bill06 Mar

House Democratic leaders – Speaker Stumbo, Speaker Pro-Tem Clark, Majority Floor Leader Adkins, Majority Caucus Chair Overly, Majority Whip Thompson – have, once again, decided to kill a reasonable legislative proposal to insure that women considering abortion have full access to all necessary information before giving final consent for the abortion.

How? By not listening to our request to refer House Bill 575 to the House Judiciary Committee. Fr. Delahanty spoke directly with Speaker Stumbo, Majority Floor Leader Adkins, and Majority Whip Thompson and asked that they make that assignment.

Rep. Gerald Watkins, center, with two co-sponsors, Rep. Heath, left, and Rep. Imes, right

By giving House Bill 575 to House and Welfare Chairman Tom Burch who relishes holding hearings on bills protecting human life in the womb and watching them fail to get enough votes to go to the floor. A stacked committee, also created by House leadership, makes sure of that.

In just two days 45 House members have signed on as co-sponsors and the Conference, along with Ky Right to Life and the Family Foundation are urging others to do the same. Below is today’s list of those who have already co-sponsored HB 575.

If your legislator’s name is not on this list, please call 1.800.372.7181 and leave a message asking him or her to sign on to HB 575.

HB 575/CI (BR 1976) – G. Watkins, R. Benvenuti III, L. Bechler, K. Bratcher, Dw. Butler, J. Carney, H. Collins, T. Couch, W. Coursey, R. Crimm, R. Damron, C. Embry Jr., J. Fischer, D. Floyd, J. Gooch Jr., J. Greer, K. Hall, M. Harmon, R. Heath, R. Henderson, T. Herald, K. Imes, T. Kerr, K. King, S. Lee, B. Linder, S. Miles, T. Mills, B. Montell, T. Moore, R. Nelson, D. Osborne, R. Quarles, T. Riner, B. Rowland, S. Rudy, S. Santoro, J. Short, D. St. Onge, F. Steele, J. Stewart III, T. Thompson, K. Upchurch, R. Webber, J. York

Here is a description of what HB 575 does and does not do:

HB  575 Does The Following:

  • Ensures that women seeking abortion in Kentucky are not denied access to the relevant medical information prior to consenting to abortion.
  • Requires the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family services to publish and maintain accurate information about fetal development, abortion alternatives, and resources for pregnant women on its website.
  • Requires any Kentucky abortion provider who has a website to post on its home page  prominent web links to the information posted on the Cabinet for Health and Family services about fetal development, abortion alternatives, and resources for pregnant women.
  • HB 575 requires the abortionist to “turn the screen around” so that the woman MAY view the development of the unborn child. She is not required to do so. There is no penalty if she turns her head and does not view the ultrasound.
  • Requires Kentucky abortion providers to perform obstetric ultrasound and offer to share images of the woman’s developing fetus with her before she consents to undergo an abortion procedure. She may refuse this offer without penalty.
  • Applies widely accepted medical standards for valid informed consent to Kentucky abortion practitioners.

HB 575 Does NOT:

  •  Require women to make two trips to an abortion provider prior to procure abortion.
  •  Require women to undergo  a transvaginal ultrasound procedure
  •  Jeopardize women’s privacy through website link requirement
  •  Require abortion providers to incur additional financial costs because Kentucky abortion providers already employ ultrasound technology during the abortion procedure.
  •  Require the woman to view the ultrasound images if she does not wish to.  The bill explicitly allows her to avert her eyes.

Photo: LRC Public Information

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