FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky House passed a pair of pro-life bills Tuesday.
One, House Bill 67, caused a fierce debate on the House floor that lasted more than an hour.
The constitutional amendment would change the Kentucky Constitution to say the constitution does not secure or protect a right to abortion or funding of abortion.
When the bill was heard in committee it was given under 15 minutes, Democrats used their time on the House floor to read statements from the women who were denied a chance to testify against the measure.
Opponents decried the bill as an attempt to ban abortion in Kentucky and took issue with the fact there were no exceptions in the amendment in case of death of the mother.
“Here we go with another arrogant, patronizing piece of legislation to basically say that our women can’t think for themselves, that we want to insert ourselves into your personal private medical decision,” said Rep. Mary Lou Marizan, D-Louisville.
Rep. Joe Fischer, R-Fort Thomas, says a bill passed during the 2019 session would allow for the abortion if the mother’s life were at risk, and maintained this measure is protecting Kentucky from judges making decisions on abortion.
“Ladies and gentlemen the right to an abortion is nowhere to be found in the Kentucky Constitution or the United States Constitution, the right to kill unborn children is based on a false legal construct,” he said.
The measure heads to the Senate, where if approved, it will be up to the Kentucky voters to ratify.
The House also passed House Bill 451 which gives the attorney general more powers over regulations at abortion facilities. It would allow the attorney general to seek injunction relief as well as criminal and civil penalties over abortion facilities.
Bill sponsor Rep. Stan Lee, R-Lexington, says he drafted this bill as a result of former Attorney General Andy Beshear’s refusal to defend several abortion laws passed by the General Assembly.
Opponents said this bill was unnecessary.
“If this procedure has been good enough for years, then it’s good enough now. Kentucky women are bright and capable and do not need special prosecutor to monitor their healthcare,” said Rep. Maria Sorolis, D-Louisville.
This was a statement Lee disagreed with.
“While I understand some people don’t think Kentucky women need a special prosecutor, I will say that statically probably half of these unborn babies that are killed, those little ladies need a special prosecutor,” he said.
The bill heads to the Senate.