UPDATED AT 4:27 P.M.
FRANKFORT – A pregnant woman would be required to have a face-to-face meeting with a doctor or designated health professional at least 24 hours before she could get an abortion under a bill the Senate approved Thursday.
The Senate voted 32-5 to pass Senate Bill 9. The measure has never passed the Democratic-controlled House. Five Democratic senators voted against the bill, including Sen. Kathy Stein of Lexington who tried unsuccessfully to attach an amendment on it to bring about a vote on ending abortion. The move would have made the bill unconstitutional, said its opponents.
Senate Bill 9, which the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection Committee approved on a 9-3 vote earlier on Thursday, also requires that the doctor who is to perform the abortion or a certified technician working with the doctor to perform an ultrasound on the woman and show it to her.
A doctor who violated the law would be fined up to $100,000 for a first offense and up to $250,000 for subsequent offenses.
In speaking against the bill, which the Senate also approved in last year’s law-making session, Dr. Connie White, a Frankfort obstetrician-gynecologist, said a patient could divert her eyes from an ultrasound but the doctor still would have to describe to her the image.
She also said it would be difficult to enforce the fines.
Derek Selznick, reproductive freedom project director for the state American Civil Liberties Union, said the bill would be harmful for poor or working women in rural areas who have to travel to get an abortion. He noted that the state’s two abortion clinics are in Louisville and Lexington.
But Sen. Katie Stine, R-Southgate, disputed that and said the bill is designed to treat each woman as an individual and give them the opportunity to ask questions of doctors.
Kathy Rutledge of Lexington, representing women who regret getting abortions, spoke in favor of the bill. So did Mike Janocik with the Kentucky Right to Life Association.
The Senate also approved three other bills and sent them to the House for its consideration. They were:
*SB 12, which allows a school superintendent to select a principal after consulting the school-based council.
*SB 13, which provides finacial incentives to advanced science and math teachers whose students score high on advanced placement exams.
*SB 8, which consolidates business filings and fee payments at one center in the secretary of state’s office.
Filed Under: KY General Assembly