By Dave Andrusko
Last Thursday, the same day pro-lifers flooded the state capitol, the Kentucky Senate Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection voted 11 to 1 to advance a measure requiring an ultrasound prior to an abortion and the abortionist to describe what is seen on that ultrasound.
The bill, SB 152, now moves to the full Senate.
The measure passed the same day pro-life Gov. Matt Bevin held a ceremonial signing for Senate Bill 4, an enhanced informed consent bill, at a pro-life rally in the Capitol rotunda. Since 1998, Kentucky’s 24-hour informed consent for abortion law has been enforced by a court order and the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure allowing a recorded telephone message which meant no interaction with the abortionist.SB4 offers women the options of meetings in person or by real-time video consultation.
Critics of SB 152 labeled it an intrusion into the doctor/patient relationship. Decidedly not so said proponents. The Lexington Herald-Leader reported
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Hopkinsville, said he filed the bill on behalf of a friend who had an abortion after a nurse refused her requests for an ultrasound, telling her, “It’s best we not go down that road.” Westerfield said his friend regretted the abortion and thinks that she might have acted differently had she been permitted to see an ultrasound image.
“This decision is an irreversible decision,” added Sen. Julian Carroll, D-Frankfort. “There’s no way to ever correct it if you later decide, ‘I wish I hadn’t done that.’ It’s too late.”
Reporter John Cheves explained that the full Senate “has passed ultrasound bills in previous years, only to see them blocked in the House Health and Welfare Committee. But this year, the House’s Democratic majority is politically defensive about its shrinking size…”
According to NRLC’s Department of State Legislation, there are currently 24 states with ultrasound laws on the books (one is permanently enjoined). They vary according to various criteria. The most common law provides the mother the opportunity to see the ultrasound if the ultrasound is used as part of the abortion process.