Kentucky pro-life lawmakers are on a roll. State lawmakers passed several new pro-life laws in the past two months, ever since voters awarded Republicans control of both state houses in January.
On Tuesday, the Kentucky House approved yet another abortion-related bill that would defund the abortion business Planned Parenthood, the Herald-Leader reports. The bill moves back to the state Senate for approval of changes.
Kentucky Senate Bill 8, which passed the House in a 75-13 vote, would re-prioritize tax dollars for family planning by putting Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups at the end of the distribution list. The state distributes about $300,000 in federal family planning funds every year.
The first tier receiving funding would include local community health departments and federally qualified health centers. Second tier funding would be allocated to private organizations otherwise providing comprehensive health services. If any remaining funding existed, only then would third tier funding would be directed to Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups.
Pro-life lawmakers assured their constituents that the bill would ensure people have access to comprehensive health care.
State Rep. Stan Lee, R-Lexington told his fellow lawmakers Tuesday, “There is not a service Planned Parenthood performs that isn’t provided by a local health department, except abortion.”
Here’s more from the Courier-Journal:
Tuesday night, advocates for the bill expressed their disgust with abortion and harshly criticized the national Planned Parenthood organization for performing the procedure.
“The bill makes clear that in Kentucky we will not tolerate, condone or acquiesce to our taxpayer dollars going to organizations that are so callous about human life,” said Rep Tim Moore, R-Elizabethtown.
But opponents pointed out that Planned Parenthood doesn’t perform abortions in Kentucky right now. The organization stopped performing abortions in Louisville after Gov. Matt Bevin filed a lawsuit alleging that Planned Parenthood illegally provided abortions in Louisville.
If the bill passes, it would be contingent on U.S. Congress repealing a mandate by President Barack Obama that basically forces states to fund Planned Parenthood. LifeNews reported the U.S. House passed a measure to strike down the pro-abortion mandate in February; it now is being considered in the U.S. Senate.
Kentucky leaders have made a number of pro-life changes in the state in the past few months. In January, Gov. Matt Bevin signed two bills to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy when strong scientific evidence indicates unborn babies can feel pain, and require women to receive an ultrasound and the opportunity to see it prior to having an abortion.
Kentucky lawmakers have been trying to pass pro-life legislation for years, but the legislation always failed to pass the Democrat-controlled state House. Reuters reports 2017 is the first year that Republicans have had a majority in the Kentucky House of Representatives since 1921.
Bevin’s administration also has been cracking down on the abortion industry in the state. One abortion facility, EMW Women’s Clinic in Lexington, was forced to shut down after state inspectors caught it masquerading as a doctor’s office and performing abortions without a license. State health investigators also found unsanitary conditions inside the facility, according to the Courier Journal.
As a result, Kentucky has one abortion facility left in the state.