HomeoldPro-life Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signs two pro-life bills

Pro-life Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signs two pro-life bills

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In a significant legislative move, Pro-life Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin has signed two pro-life bills into law, underscoring the impact of recent electoral shifts and the enduring political battle over abortion rights in the United States. These newly enacted laws are the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (SB5) and a bill (HB2) that offers an abortion-minded woman the opportunity to view an ultrasound of her unborn child.

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (SB5)

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, also known as SB5, places a ban on abortions once the unborn child is deemed capable of feeling pain, a capacity that medical science has indicated occurs no later than 20 weeks gestational age. This bill makes exceptions only when an abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother or to prevent substantial and irreversible harm to one of her major bodily functions.

SB5 follows the precedent set by 15 other states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The swift passage of this bill was facilitated by the recent electoral success of pro-life Republicans who gained control of the state House in November, a significant change after years of Democratic leadership under outgoing Speaker Greg Stumbo.

Senator Brandon Smith, the sponsor of SB5, emphasized the bill’s intention to protect unborn children, highlighting the painful procedures involved in late-term abortions. His graphic descriptions during committee discussions aimed to convey the urgency and moral imperative behind the legislation.

Ultrasound Viewing Requirement (HB2)

House Bill 2, which also passed with considerable support, mandates that women seeking an abortion be given the opportunity to view an ultrasound of their unborn child. This measure is intended to provide additional information and reflection time for women considering abortion, potentially influencing their decision by highlighting the development and humanity of the fetus.

The passage of HB2, with a Senate vote of 32-5, marks another significant step in the pro-life legislative agenda in Kentucky. Like SB5, HB2 is designed to become effective immediately, as stated in the legislative language.

Immediate Implications and Future Considerations

The rapid enactment of these two bills—less than a week from their introduction to their signing—illustrates the strong legislative support for pro-life measures in Kentucky’s current political climate. It also reflects a broader national trend where Republican-controlled states have been enacting stricter abortion laws in recent years.

Ingrid Duran, National Right to Life Committee’s director of state legislation, highlighted the importance of Kentucky’s actions, stating that becoming the 16th state to enact a Pain-Capable law sets a significant tone for the 2017 legislative session across the nation. This momentum suggests a continued push for similar laws in other states, reinforcing the pro-life movement’s strategic legislative focus.

Potential Third Bill: Defunding Abortion Providers

In addition to SB5 and HB2, a third bill is currently under consideration in Kentucky’s legislature. This proposed bill seeks to defund organizations that perform abortions, further aligning with the pro-life agenda by restricting financial support for facilities that provide abortion services. If passed, this bill would add another layer of restriction, potentially reducing the availability of abortion services in the state.


The enactment of SB5 and HB2 in Kentucky represents a pivotal moment in the state’s legislative history and highlights the significant influence of recent electoral outcomes on pro-life policies. Governor Matt Bevin’s signing of these bills reinforces the state’s commitment to protecting unborn children and providing women with additional information before making decisions about abortion. As the pro-life movement continues to gain legislative traction, the implications of these laws will resonate not only within Kentucky but also across the United States, where similar measures are being considered and implemented.

These developments underscore the critical role that state governments play in shaping the national landscape of reproductive rights and reflect the ongoing debate over the ethical, moral, and medical dimensions of abortion. As Kentucky moves forward with these new laws, the pro-life movement anticipates further legislative victories, while pro-choice advocates prepare to respond to these challenges in courts and public discourse.


Chelsea Garcia is a political writer with a special interest in international relations and social issues. Events surrounding the war in Ukraine and the war in Israel are a major focus for political journalists. But as a former local reporter, she is also interested in national politics.

Chelsea Garcia studied media, communication and political science in Texas, USA, and learned the journalistic trade during an internship at a daily newspaper. In addition to her political writing, she is pursuing a master's degree in multimedia and writing at Texas.

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