Just one week into Kentucky’s 2020 legislative session, Senator Whitney Westerfield (R-Hopkinsville) has re-introduced his Born-Alive Infant Protection Act (SB 9). The legislation, which appeared to be headed towards becoming law during the last legislative session, was held up in the closing minutes on the last day of the 2019 session.
This legislation had been created in response to several horrific stories where babies were born alive after failed abortion procedures, and were subsequently denied adequate medical attention by doctors. At this stage, the bill isn’t about abortion at all – it’s about compassionate care for a human being that is outside the womb.
According to the Heritage Foundation, federal law provides insufficient protections for babies who are born under these circumstances, necessitating state-level legislation like Senator Westerfield’s SB 9. “While current law recognizes that all infants born alive are ‘persons,’ babies who survive an abortion attempt are left vulnerable because the law provides for no requirements that health care practitioners treat the infant with the same degree of care afforded to any other newborn.”
The federal version of this legislation, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act continues to be held up by abortion industry and their supporters in the Democrat-led U.S. Congress.
Senator Westerfield’s legislation would require a physician performing an abortion to take all medically appropriate and reasonable steps to preserve the life and health of a born-alive infant, and would create other provisions and protections for infants born alive. Currently, the bill is being co-sponsored by Senate Majority Floor Leader Thayer (R-Georgetown), and Senators Girdler (R-Somerset), Humphries (R-Cadiz), Mills (R-Henderson), and Wilson (R-Bowling Green).
Kentucky’s newly-elected governor, Andy Beshear, is likely to oppose the legislation due to his pro-choice stand and the support he has received from Planned Parenthood, EMW Women’s Surgical Center, and abortion advocates. Although Gov. Beshear said he would not oppose reasonable regulations on abortion, as Attorney General not only did he not defend Kentucky’s reasonable regulations, he actively opposed them. Regardless, we’re optimistic that since Kentuckians recently elected conservative supermajorities in the Kentucky State House and Senate, the votes will be there to override a prospective governor’s veto of this legislation, if it comes to that.
While this bill appears to have the support of legislative leadership, and we do expect this legislation to advance through the session as it did last year, we will keep a close eye on it and work to ensure that it isn’t killed off late by the abortion advocates in Frankfort. We must see this legislation across the finish line, and you (and your family members and friends) can help simply by calling the legislative message line (800-372-7181) and saying, “Vote YES on SB 9.” You can also send emails to your legislators so they know where you stand on this reasonable bill, SB 9.
Thank you for your support!