No new pro-life bill has reached the House Floor in nine years, but the NEW Ultrasound Bill – HB 575 – has a real chance.
Pressure is mounting and so are options since HB 575 emerged March 4 as the latest ultrasound and informed consent initiative in the General Assembly. Sponsored by Rep. Gerald Watkins (D-Paducah) and Rep. Robert Benvenuti III (R-Lexington), this bill differs slightly from its ultrasound predecessors by creating a website run by the state on which information about fetal development, pregnancy and abortion would be made available to women considering an abortion. And HB 575 has 61 cosponsors!
Before consenting to an abortion, the bill also requires critical information be made available to women from the abortionist’s routinely performed ultrasound.
At this time, HB 575 is the third ultrasound/informed consent option lawmakers could potentially vote on in this 2014 session. The first option is a combination of two Republican bills initiated by the Senate; the second, a Democrat bill from the House with 59 House members signed on as cosponsors; and this latest, a bipartisan bill from the House, endorsed by both Kentucky Right to Life and The Family Foundation.
At press time the previous ultrasound/informed consent bills were sitting in the infamous House Health and Welfare “graveyard” committee, the first having languished there since being assigned to the committee by House Leadership on Jan. 8.
History confirms that any pro-life bill making it to the House Floor will pass by an overwhelming 85-15 margin. Which bills reach the House Floor is a decision of House Leadership.