Planned Parenthood Statement on Legislators Attacking Constitutionally Protected Access to Abortion Care in Kentucky
For Immediate Release: Jan. 9, 2021 (Updated: Jan. 9, 2021, 3:33 p.m.)
“This language in [SB9] makes it abundantly clear that the bill was written by politicians, and not physicians. This very bill holds no basis in medical fact and does not address any real-life threat to maternal or infant health.” Dr. B. Myers
Frankfort, KY— Today, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana and Kentucky (PPAIK) condemned the Kentucky General Assembly for passing two bills restricting access to abortion care. House Bill 2, the first bill to pass the General Assembly, would take decisions away from the Cabinet for Health and Family services strictly regarding abortion and place them under the purview of the Attorney General, Daniel Cameron, who is openly hostile to abortion rights. Senate Bill 9, a so-called “born alive” bill, would criminalize providers for not following restrictions created by politicians, not physicians. These bills are now headed to the governor’s desk.
Both bills lack any medical relevance according to health care experts, do not actually address any real-world problems Kentuckians face, and will instead criminalize providers and increase health risks, stigmatization, and grief for patients if they become law.
Hearings held during the short session had limited input from constituents and their ability to speak against bills that will impact their lives for years to follow. Kentuckians do not support chipping away at abortion access, in fact 65 percent say they are opposed to restrictions on abortion care.
“The biggest take away for you is that this bill does not address any real-world problem in the setting of abortion care in Kentucky. This bill’s intent is to shame patients and threaten health care providers, but what it will ultimately end up doing is changing the practice and handcuffing both general OBGYNs and neonatologists,” Dr. Brittany Meyers, a resident Kentucky OB/GYN testified today during the SB9 hearing.
SB9 passed (76-18) out of the House and now heads to the Governor’s desk, despite testimony from medical experts like Dr. Brittany Myers who said that the medically unnecessary bill would have a harmful impact on Kentucky families and the medical community.
HB2 passed (30-5) out of the Senate, and now heads to the Governor’s desk. HB2 reflects an unprecedented attempt to strip control of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who has no medical background and has showed he’ll use the powers of his office to push abortion care out of reach for nearly one million Kentuckians of reproductive age.
“The Supermajority’s unprecedented attempt to shift control out of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and place health care decisions under someone without a medical background is a dangerous game to play with people who are already trying to survive the economic, social and racial issues compounded by COVID-19,” said Tamarra Wieder, Kentucky State Director for PPAIK.
“The public health crises we face across the country and here in the commonwealth must be a top priority,” Wieder continued. “Opponents of abortion have exploited the pandemic to restrict access to abortion care, which is time-sensitive health care that people need. It is shameful that they are putting their ideology ahead of science at the expense of women and families across Kentucky. This is shameful. This is dangerous. These bills can not become law.”
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana and Kentucky (PPAIK) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to ensuring access to affordable reproductive health care, including abortion, by educating residents and policy-makers about issues affecting Hoosiers and Kentuckians. PPAIK lobbies and educates to advance Planned Parenthood’s mission and engages in limited electoral activities.