Whitesburg KY

State lawmakers pass bill to ban abortion method


For the second straight year, Kentucky’s Republican led legislature passed a measure to impose abortion restrictions despite threats that the action will spark a court challenge.

The House finished work Tuesday on the bill to ban a common abortion procedure when women are at least 11 weeks into their pregnancies. The chamber voted 75-13 to send the measure to Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, a staunch abortion opponent.

With a handful of days left in this year’s legislative session, lawmakers also finished work on a bill making the biggest changes to the workers’ compensation system in more than 20 years.

The abortion measure, House Bill 454, would prohibit a procedure known as “dilation and evacuation” 11 weeks or later into a pregnancy, except in medical emergencies.

The bill’s supporters call the procedure “gruesome.”

Its opponents said it intrudes into the private medical decisions of women.

“This bill is going to cost taxpayers in Kentucky a load of money, and it’s clearly unconstitutional,” said Democratic Rep. Mary Lou Marzian of Louisville.

Opponents pointed to similar laws in other states that were struck down or blocked while legal challenges proceed. After the bill’s final passage, American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky advocacy director Kate Miller said in a statement: “The ACLU will continue to fight back against extreme legislative attacks on Kentuckians’ reproductive rights.”

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