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Kentucky lawmakers roll out anti-abortion agenda for 2022 session

The bill package would prohibit health care facilities from throwing aborted fetal remains away with other medical waste.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Republican lawmakers gave a preview of what measures will be included in their anti-abortion bill package at a committee hearing in Frankfort Wednesday. 

They say the official legislation will be formally introduced later this year but gave a preview of what they're trying to get in it. 

Much of what's included in the omnibus bill package, which is being called the Humanity in Healthcare Act, was introduced last year but failed to make it through the chambers.  

Language in the bill package has been tweaked a bit though. 

Right now, minors getting abortions are already required to get parental consent in Kentucky.

If this bill is approved, parents would have to show ID to prove their relation to the minor and physicians would have to sign an affidavit stating they got proper parental consent. 

"All of us know that sometimes that we make decisions when we're young people that will affect this for the rest of our lives," Rep. Nancy Tate, R-Brandenburg, said. 

Those speaking against the bill said the majority of minors getting abortions already discuss it with their parents since parental consent is required, so they feel the change would just add barriers to them getting the procedure. 

"Unfortunately, not all people have a supportive relationship with their parents. Some minors, especially those living in abusive situations, cannot safely disclose their situation to their families," said Tamarra Wieder with Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky.

The bill also adds restrictions for women opting to terminate a pregnancy through an abortion pill instead of a surgical procedure. 

The law would prohibit doctors from sending abortion pills through the mail.

Right now, that's not allowed and the first pill has to be taken in the presence of a provider, but there's talk at the federal level of allowing mail-order prescriptions so those supporting the bill say they feel Kentucky should take steps to prevent that in anticipation of the change. 

"That would make every bathroom, whether it's in our own homes or in the dorm bathroom, an abortion clinic," said Sue Swayze Liebel with the Susan B. Anthony List. 

Since doctors can't currently prescribe abortion pills through the mail, pro-abortion rights advocates said the law change isn't necessary. 

"A lot of what we heard today is fear-based and mongering, not based on medical practice that happens in our Commonwealth and I want that to be clear," Wieder said. 

The bill package also would create a protocol to ensure aborted fetuses aren't disposed of as medical waste.

In 2019, the Supreme Court upheld parts of a similar Indiana law.

RELATED: Appeals court says Texas abortion law can resume; orders DOJ to respond by Tuesday

RELATED: Attorney General Cameron hopes to press anew for struck-down Kentucky abortion law

 Contact reporter Rachel Droze at rdroze@whas11.com or on FacebookTwitter or Instagram 

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