(December 21, 2000) – Kentucky’s Roman Catholic bishops praised the
ruling by U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn affirming Kentucky’s new
"Informed Consent" law as reasonable and constitutional.
Jane Chiles, Executive
Director of the Catholic Conference of Kentucky, the bishops' public policy
agency, said "Judge Heyburn’s
ruling is well-balanced and re-affirms the decision of the General Assembly to pass
this law and guarantee a woman's access to detailed health related information and life-affirming options to abortion."
The Catholic Conference supported passage of the law in 1998 (House Bill 85)
which requires abortion providers to counsel women with detailed health
information 24 hours prior to an abortion. Women seeking abortion will now
receive state approved information on the health risks associated with abortion.
The law requires the state to produce a booklet detailing fetal
development and make it a part of the pre-abortion counseling process.
According to Jane Chiles, "Before anyone makes a medical decision,
individuals have a right to know the risks and options available." Ms.
Chiles added "This law protects the rights of women in the process of
making an irreversible decision and may reduce the number of babies being
aborted and the post-abortion trauma that we know to be sadly real for some
Kentucky’s bishops sponsor several ministry programs addressing the needs
of women and their families when faced with untimely pregnancy. Opportunities
For Life is a pregnancy information hotline available 24-hours seven
days a week (800-822-5824). Project Rachel is a pastoral
outreach program for those dealing with grief associated following an abortion.
Assistance is available from priests, counselors and post-abortion support
groups. Catholic Charities and Catholic Social Services offices across
the state offer adoption services and counseling.
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