Experts from left to right on the political spectrum agree that 2020 will be a landmark year on the issue of life, and on states’ rights to regulate abortion services and providers.
In just a few weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in June Medical Services v. Gee, a case regarding a Louisiana statute that requires physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Regulations like these are important measures that states should have the right to enact, in order to ensure access to emergency medical care in the event of a medical emergency during an abortion procedure – an occasion that happens far more often than the abortion industry would care to admit.
Should the U.S. Supreme Court side with states on this issue and open the door for states to continue passing these meaningful regulations to protect women, they may also crack the door open for an eventual overturning of Roe v. Wade. It’s important that Kentucky have a firm foundation on this issue prior to any changes at the federal level.
Mid-way through Kentucky’s 2020 legislative session, several TFF-tracked bills have made progress, and we wanted to provide you with an update.
HB 67, also known as Kentucky’s Human Life Amendment, has been offered by Rep. Joseph Fischer (R-Ft. Thomas), in preparation for a changing landscape on the issue of life. If passed by the legislature and also by Kentucky voters in November, it would not change the status of abortion in Kentucky, but it would add language to the Kentucky Constitution that clarifies that there is no right to abortion or to abortion funding in the Commonwealth. This move would prevent our state courts from suddenly creating a right to abortion later. That bill cleared its first hurdle Thursday morning in the House Elections, Constitutional Amendments & Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, passing by a vote of 11-7.
SB 90, which would protect the conscience rights of medical providers and practitioners, also passed out of committee this morning, by a vote of 8-3. That bill is sponsored by Sen. Steve Meredith (R-Leitchfield).
HB 459, another version of the Save Women’s Sports Act, has been introduced in the House by Rep. Regina Huff (R-Williamsburg), who is also the Chair of the House Education Committee. This is great news for female Kentucky athletes.
TFF has also opposed passage of several bills this session.
HB 137, the Sports Wagering Bill, is still held up in the House with many pending amendments. We expect it will move at some point this session, and we’ll keep you in the loop when it does.
HB 136, which would legalize medicinal marijuana, has passed the Kentucky House and now heads to the Senate for consideration.
Please continue to engage with your lawmakers on the bills that matter to you. A quick email or phone call to their offices can make a huge difference (Find Your Legislator). The legislative message line is the quickest and easiest way to pass a message onto your legislator: 800-372-7181.