Senate passes pair of abortion bills on Friday


by Associated Press

Posted on February 8, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 8 at 7:41 PM

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A controversial bill in Frankfort gets the go-ahead Friday by the state senate.  The bill would require women to be offered ultrasounds before having an abortion. 

The new legislative session has lawmakers debating a series of hot button issues, medical marijuana, pension reform, industrial hemp, and two perennial favorites looking to further regulate abortion.

On Friday morning, the Republican-held Senate passed those two abortion bills.  Senator Jimmy Higdon from Lebanon sponsored SB4 which would strengthen an existing law requiring women seeking abortions to sit down with a physician beforehand.  Right now, consultations can be done by video.

“A face to face, in person consultation with your provider is very important, that’s simply what this bill does,” Higdon says.

Senator Hidgon also helped pass SB5 through the senate. This law would require an ultrasound first.  Senator Higdon and supporters of the bills say they both aim to make sure women make informed decisions.

“There's precautions put into law to prevent buyer's remorse that once you do it, once you sign on the dotted line there’s no going back,” adds Higdon.

Senator Kathy Stein however disagrees.

“This implies women that are whimsical and they just decision, ‘Oh, I’m pregnant, I think I’ll run down and terminate this pregnancy’ they already know what they're doing,” she responded.

Stein joined three Louisville senators in voting against both bills arguing neither makes an exception for cases of rape or incest and they have an ulterior motive.

“These bills are unfortunately in the nature to shame and to add emotional distress to an already emotion laden time in a woman's life,” Stein added.

Both abortion bills SB4 and SB5 did pass through the Kentucky State Senate, as they have multiple times before, but they still need to get passed in the House, where they have previously failed.