Kentucky lawmakers made unborn babies and mothers a priority on their first day of their new legislative session by passing a bill to hold abortion facilities accountable if they fail to follow basic health standards.
Sponsored by state Rep. Joseph Fichter, R-Fort Thomas, state House Bill 2 would give the state attorney general power to hold abortion facilities accountable if they do not comply with state health regulations. Currently, that power rests with the state health cabinet. The bill also defines most abortions as elective procedures.
The Courier-Journal reports the bill passed the state legislature in 2020, but Gov. Andy Beshear, a pro-abortion Democrat, vetoed it.
However, Republicans gained seats in the legislature in the November election and now have a supermajority in the state House and Senate, meaning they could override Beshear’s veto, according to the report.
On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee approved the bill in a 14-4 vote.
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Prior to the vote, Fischer slammed Beshear for showing “no interest in enforcing or defending” pro-life state laws, the report states. Lawmakers also accused the governor of showing favoritism to the abortion industry. Beshear received campaign donations from the only abortion facility in the state.
State Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a pro-life Republican, has been defending state pro-life laws in court. He recently said Fichter’s bill will give his office “clear legal authority” to act “when an abortion provider breaks the law,” the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.
Initially, the bill passed in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, when many governors ordered temporary halts to non-essential medical care.
At the end of March 2020, Cameron urged Eric Friedlander, secretary of the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services, to hold abortion facilities accountable to the COVID-19 health restrictions, WBKO reported at the time.
“… Kentucky’s abortion providers are violating his ban on elective medical procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic by continuing to perform abortions,” Cameron said in a statement. “Kentucky’s current ban on elective medical procedures exists to further the mandated policy of social distancing and to help conserve medical resources for use in fighting COVID-19.”
Cameron urged abortion facilities to join the thousands of medical professionals across Kentucky who were canceling and postponing elective and non-essential procedures to help slow the spread of the virus and conserve medical supplies.
However, the only abortion facility in the state, EMW Women’s Surgical Center in Louisville, continued to abort unborn babies.
Also on Tuesday in the Kentucky Senate, state Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Hopkinsville, introduced another pro-life bill to protect babies who survive abortions, the Herald-Leader reports.
State Senate Bill 9 would require abortionists and medical workers to provide basic medical care to newborn babies who survive abortions. Beshear also vetoed that bill in 2020, but Kentucky could see it become law this year because of the Republican supermajority.
New health statistics from Texas and other states show that babies do survive abortions. In America, most states do not keep track of abortion survivors, but a few do. Between 2016 and 2018, three states reported 40 babies were born alive after botched abortions. According to the state health data, 11 babies were born alive in Minnesota, 10 in Arizona and 19 in Florida. Texas reported six babies were born alive in botched abortions in 2019.