The list of successfully passed pro-family legislation over the last two years is a reason for which every family can be proud.
Major changes in how the General Assembly responds to the will and values of everyday Kentuckians has come into play. Simply consider the significant shift on the state level since November 2016 when the House flipped from a 54-46 Democratic Chamber to a 64-36 Republican Chamber and began its work in the 2017 General Assembly: 1) Six significant pro-life bills were passed and signed into law in two years, after no new prolife bills had been allowed on the House Floor for 10 years; 2) Major reform of adoption and foster care was passed and signed into law; and 3) Two significant religious liberty bills were passed and signed into law. Many other pro-family pieces of legislation were also considered and passed into law.
Kentuckians will decide on Nov. 6 if they want to continue along this course or whether they want to go back to a more progressive or more liberal General Assembly. Fortunately, the choice is very clear for all who want to participate in the election. Prior to the 2016 election, Kentucky was moving in one direction. After that election cycle it went an entirely different direction.
Do your best to determine which direction you want Kentucky to go and then get out and vote! And encourage others to do the same.
Though the 2016 election was “revolutionary” in the change that took place for Kentucky and for the nation, the 2018 election is equally important because it will determine whether the state and nation stay this new course or turn back.
The two-year record is replete with pro-family, pro-life and religious liberty steps forward after years of only “crumbs.”
Here are a few of the Pro-Family Victories in 2017:
Senate Bill 5 – 20-Week Abortion Ban (Pain Capable Ban):
SB5 prohibits an abortion on a woman who is 20-weeks or more into her pregnancy because medical assessments indicate that an unborn child feels pain by 20- weeks gestation. Passed Senate 30-6 and House 79-15.
Senate Bill 8 – Defunding Planned Parenthood (PP):
SB8 set up a tiered funding approach so that federal and regional health care clinics for women would receive Title X monies first – before PP. With this bill, PP would likely receive little or no funding. Passed Senate 31-6 and House 75-13.
Senate Bill 17 – Student Free Speech & Religious Liberty Act:
SB17 prevents schools K through college from infringing on a student’s right of freedom of speech or expression, allowing such speech or expression on the same terms as nonreligious and nonpolitical speech. SB17 protects the right to pray at lunch or refer to God in speeches or composition. Passed Senate 31-3 and House 81-8.
Senate Bill 159 – Civics Test for Graduation:
SB159 requires students in Kentucky public schools to pass a civics test before they can graduate. The 100-question test is taken from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Students are permitted to retake the test as often as needed in order to pass. Passed Senate 37-1 and House 79-15.
House Bill 2 – The Ultrasound Bill:
HB2 requires that an abortionist do an ultrasound on every woman seeking an abortion and describe what the ultrasound imaging presents. If the abortionist can detect a heartbeat, he is directed to make that audible for the woman to hear. She may decline to look at or hear the ultrasound. Passed House 83-12 and Senate 32-5.
House Bill 38 – Prohibiting Sex Offenders on Public Playgrounds:
HB38 prohibits sex offender registrants from being on the grounds of a publicly owned playground without advance written permission. Passed House 91-3 and Senate 37-0.
House Bill 128 – Biblical Literacy Bill:
HB128 allows the study of the Bible in public school for its literary and cultural contribution to Western Civilization and American culture. The bill does NOT permit the teaching of religion. HB128 passed House 80-14 and Senate 34-4.
House Bill 180 – Child Placement with Fictive Kin:
HB180 established that the Cabinet for Health and Family Services may approve fictive kin as a placement for a child. It defines “fictive kin” as “an individual who is not related by birth, adoption, or marriage to a child, but who has an emotionally significant relationship with the child.” Passed House 96-0 and Senate 37-0.
House Bill 14 – Hate Crimes Against Peace Officers:
HB14 upgraded to a hate crime offenses committed against an individual because of that individual’s actual or perceived employment as a peace officer, member of a fire department, or emergency medical services personnel. Passed House 77-13-1 and Senate 33-5.
House Bill 524 – Human Trafficking:
HB524 includes the promotion of human trafficking as a criminal offense if the victim is under 18 and requires that the national trafficking hotline be posted in public schools. Passed House 81-0 and Senate 38-0.
Here are a few of the Pro-Family Victories in 2018:
Senate Bill 71 – Abstinence Inclusion in Public School Education: SB71 requires that if a public school has a Sex Education program, “abstinence” from sexual activity before marriage must be included in the program as the only guarantee against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Passed Senate 32-5-1 and House 77-14-9.
Senate Bill 112 – Ban on Telehealth Abortion: SB112 was designed to expand health care across Kentucky by using the Internet for doctor-patient interaction, and an amendment specifically prohibits medical abortions via a “computer visit.” Senate 36-2, House 65-20-15.
Senate Resolution 170 – Defending Dignity: This simple resolution recognizes the connection between pornography, the objectification of women, and sex trafficking. It asserts that a public health crisis has been created. SR170 was adopted by the Senate by voice vote.
House Bill 1 – Adoption and Foster Care Reform: In response to years of requests, by citizens, legislators and professionals, that the Adoption and Foster Care system be improved, the 2017 General Assembly created an adoption task force to review those systems. HB1 passed their recommendations. Passed House 94-1-4 and Senate 38-0.
House Bill 454 – Banning Dismemberment Abortion: HB454 prohibits an abortion via dismemberment, bodily crushing, or human vivisection of the live unborn child 11 weeks or greater, except in the case of a medical emergency. Passed House 71-11-18 and Senate 31-5-2.
HCR 34 – Responsible Marijuana Research: House Concurrent Resolution 34 urges the expedited research and appropriate approval of marijuana derivatives for medical use, in contrast to a rushed legalization. Passed House 73-5-20 but not the Senate.
HCR 93 – Internet Trafficking: This House Concurrent Resolution urged Congress to close the loophole in the Federal Communications Decency Act (FCDA) that gives immunity to online sites. HCR 93 passed the House 83-15 on Feb. 23 and just 4 days later the U.S. House of Representatives voted to do so.
HCR 152 – Honoring Pregnancy Help Centers: This House Concurrent Resolution commends pregnancy help centers for their services to vulnerable women and their families (free of charge and at no cost to the taxpayer). It also disapproves of actions to undermine the centers’ mission/religious integrity. Passed House 80-14 and Senate 34-4.