Kentucky House Committee Kills Ultrasound Bill Helping Women Avoid Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 10, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Kentucky House Committee Kills Ultrasound Bill Helping Women Avoid Abortions

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 10
, 2009

Frankfort, KY ( — For two years, pro-life advocates have been trying to give women the kind of pre-abortion information they don’t necessarily receive from an abortion center. And for the second year in a row, the state Senate-approved bill has been shot down by the state House.

Last week, the Senate signed off on a bill on a 33-4 vote that would allow women a chance to see an ultrasound of their unborn baby prior to an abortion.

The measure requires abortion practitioners to show women an ultrasound if they want to see one. It could help reduce abortions because, when used in pregnancy centers, ultrasounds persuade as many as 80 percent of women to not have an abortion.

But the Kentucky House Health and Welfare Committee shot down SB 79 Tuesday on an 8-8 vote.

Although the bill may be dead for the legislative session, pro-life advocates may try a special parliamentary procedure on the House floor to pull the bill from committee.

Good old fashioned politics may have had a role in defeating the pro-life legislation.
Rep. Reginald Meeks, a Louisville Democrat who voted against the bill, claimed he had to oppose the measure. He told the Lexington Herald Leader that another unnnamed lawmaker had threatened to hold one of his bills hostage in another committee if Meeks didn’t vote against the ultrasound bill today.

Leaders with Kentucky Right to Life were not surprised by the vote as they had warned their members earlier that the committee would likely kill the bill.

KRLA director Marjorie Montgomery said the bill had been sent to "a graveyard committee headed by pro-abortion Rep. Tom Burch."

“That House leadership thinks sending a bill into a committee whose chairman has publicly denounced the bill before he’s heard testimony is a complete sham, and it tells us exactly how much House leaders value women and unborn human life, which is not much," she said.

"This is a repeat of last year, the players are different, but the playbook remains the same: kill the pro-life bill in committee then tell your constituents that you would have voted for the bill if it reached the floor," KRLA assistant director Michael Janocik added.

During the Senate debate, Sen. Elizabeth Tori, a Republican who sponsored the bill, said it would help women.

"This is a life or death decision for her," Tori said.

Sixteen states have enacted abortion-ultrasound laws that enhance the opportunity for women seeking an abortion to see an ultrasound image of their baby.

Related web sites:
Kentucky House –
Kentucky Right to Life –

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