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Ky. Senate committee advances omnibus abortion bill

Kentucky Republican Rep. Nancy Tate has filed an omnibus bill that would restrict access to abortion in the state.
Kentucky Republican Rep. Nancy Tate has filed an omnibus bill that would restrict access to abortion in the state.

A sweeping bill that could restrict abortion medication and make it harder for minors to terminate a pregnancy has moved closer to the finish line, after passing out of a Kentucky Senate committee Wednesday. 

The Kentucky Senate Health and Welfare Committee voted 8-2 Wednesday to pass Kentucky House Bill 3, a more than 60-page measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Nancy Tate of Brandenburg. 

The bill would require abortion providers to attempt to reach both parents of a minor seeking an abortion and require providers to examine patients before giving medication to terminate a pregnancy. 

The bill does not provide exceptions for incest or rape. 

Tate has said throughout the process that this particular bill is not meant to end abortion in the state, but to put checks in place to make it safer. 

But opponents say the requirements could make abortion inaccessible. 

Under the bill, the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy would be required to maintain a list of all medication abortion providers and to create a portal for the public to report violations of the law.

Board Executive Director Christopher Harlow testified during a House committee several weeks ago that that provision would require a“massive, massive amount of resources.”.

“The additional requirements in this bill are so burdensome and unprecedented that there is no way providers and state agencies would be able to comply by the time this bill goes into effect,” Tamarra Wieder, Kentucky State Director for Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates said during Wednesday’s hearing. 

The measure also requires providers to inform patients about controversial and unproven medication abortion “reversals” and regulates disposal of fetal remains. 

The bill passed the House earlier this month and is expected to go to the full Senate soon. If signed into law, an emergency clause would mean it goes into effect immediately.

The Senate also passed last week a measure to ban abortions after 15 weeks, mirroring a blocked Mississippi law held up in the Supreme Court. It’s been referred to a House committee. 

Democratic Sen. Karen Berg of Louisville called the omnibus bill an attempt to legislate morality. 

“Many of the people in this room believe that it’s morally wrong to terminate a pregnancy,” she said during the committee hearing Wednesday. “And what I think is morally wrong is for the government to come in and tell a woman what she can or cannot do with her own reproduction.”

Copyright 2022 89.3 WFPL News Louisville. To see more, visit 89.3 WFPL News Louisville.

Aprile is WFPL's health reporter. Rickert comes to WFPL from the News and Tribune in Southern Indiana, where she covered crime and courts as a senior reporter. A New Albany native, she spent nearly two decades in Louisville before recently moving back across the river to Jeffersonville.
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