Kentucky Senate Passes Bill That Would Close Abortion Clinics That Can’t Protect Women’s Health

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 10, 2016   |   8:19PM   |   Frankfort, KY

Kentucky pro-lifers have been busy this new year with a series of pro-life bills to protect unborn babies and their moms from abortion.

The legislature’s latest effort is Kentucky Senate Bill 212, which would require abortion clinics to meet health and safety requirements like other outpatient surgical centers, WKYT reports. The bill, which passed the state Senate in a 32-5 vote on Wednesday, also would require abortion doctors to have hospital admitting privileges and abortion clinics to obtain a certificate of need from the state, according to the report.

State Sen. Albert Robinson, R-London, who sponsored the bill, said the measure will ensure that Kentucky abortion clinics are meeting basic standards of care.

“The bill is designed to protect women’s health and safety,” Robinson said.

A lone pro-abortion Senator, Democrat Reginald Thomas of Lexington, spoke against the bill on Wednesday prior to the vote, according to the Courier-Journal.

“I would submit to you that if you are a young woman in Kentucky of childbearing age, this is going to be a rough session,” Thomas said.

The bill heads to the state House where it is more likely to face opposition. The SB 212 is similar to a 2013 Texas law that recently was challenged at the U.S. Supreme Court. The Texas law has been credited with saving tens of thousands of unborn babies lives by closing abortion clinics that are unable to protect women’s health.

Last week, the Kentucky House also passed a bill that would require abortion doctors to perform an ultrasound and describe the unborn baby to the mother before an abortion, LifeNews reported. State Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Hopkinsville, who sponsored the bill, said he personally knows women who were denied the opportunity to see their unborn babies on an ultrasound screen at abortion clinics.

In February, pro-life Gov. Matt Bevin signed the first pro-life bill to pass the Kentucky legislature in more than a decade. The new law, Bevin’s first as governor, amends the state’s informed consent law to require either an in-person or a real-time video consultation between a doctor and woman at least 24 hours before having an abortion, according to the Associated Press. During the meeting, the woman will be informed about the risks of abortion, the age of her unborn baby and the support available to her if she chose childbirth.

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Legislators said the bill was needed because some abortion facilities were not conducting live consultations with women before abortion procedures; instead, they would instruct women to call in and listen to a recorded message, according to the AP.

In the past two months, Bevin’s office also filed two lawsuits against abortion clinics that allegedly were doing abortions without a license.

State officials said they found unsanitary conditions inside the EMW Women’s Clinic in Lexington as well as unlawful abortion practices, according to the Courier Journal. The state filed a lawsuit against the abortion clinic in March.

In February, the state also sued a new Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Louisville after catching it doing abortions without a license, LifeNews reported. Planned Parenthood’s lawyer contends that former pro-abortion Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration gave the abortion facility the OK to do abortions without a license, and he wants the lawsuit to be dismissed.