Kentucky bill requiring ultrasound before abortion a step closer to law

Committee passes extension to abortion bill

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The vote tally came with little surprise, but a lot of passion. Kentucky House Bill 2 sailed through committee Wednesday by a vote of 14 to 5.

Republicans introduced the bill on the first day of the Kentucky General Assembly. HB2 would add to the “informed consent” abortion bill passed in 2016 and would require a woman undergo an ultrasound before being allowed to have an abortion in Kentucky.

The ACLU and Planned Parenthood called the plan an effort “to shame women.” Republican lawmakers described it as another way of informing women before an important medical procedure.

During testimony, lawmakers watched an ultrasound.

They also heard from an activist, a supporter of Planned Parenthood who was against HB2. Pam Newman described her abortion half a lifetime ago. Now 36 years old, Newman said it was the right decision for her at the time.

Newman questioned the logic behind the bill, “Why do I need to look at that? Why do I need to look at my ultrasound, right? If my doctor says this is something that's going to be safe and this procedure is going to be ok and you're going to be fine? Then I don't need to see that.”

Republican State Representative Kim Moser voted for the measure.

Opponents have criticized lawmakers pushing for bills restricting aspects of abortion, especially legislation pushed by male politicians.

Representative Moser rebutted that argument while explaining her vote, “I am a woman, and I do have five children so I do speak from experience when I say that, you know, I feel again that any information to a patient when they are receiving medical treatment is crucial especially when it, in the end, ends life.”

The plan now goes back to the full House for a vote and could be sent to the Senate soon thereafter.

Reproductive rights activists plan to demonstrate against HB2 and another abortion-related bill, SB5, which would limit abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Senate Bill 5 passed committee on Wednesday as well.


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