With Abortion Rights on the Line, Kentucky General Assembly Works to Eliminate Access
FRANKFORT, KY – Today, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana and Kentucky (PPAIK) condemn the actions of Kentucky legislators for ignoring the will of Kentuckians, and going out of their way to restrict health care access. The slate of bills passed out of the House today have one goal in mind: to bring a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade to the Supreme Court, and make abortion inaccessible in Kentucky. This legislation will affect the health and well being of more than half of Kentucky’s population—restricting access to abortion care even in cases of rape and incest.
House Bill 67, a bill that would amend the Kentucky Constitution to prohibit any protections for safe and legal abortion passed out of the House in a vote of 70-21, and House Bill 451 passed on a vote of 71-23 and would give the Republican Attorney General power to negate decisions made by the governor’s appointed Secretary of Cabinet for Health and Family Services in matters pertaining to abortion.
“Last month, the Kentucky General Assembly silenced five women when they attempted to speak out against the advancement of this constitutional amendment. Today, a number of House Representatives shared their stories of strength, abuse and rape, but Republican leadership decided to ignore these pleas and ignore what the majority of Kentuckians want and advanced this bill,” said Tamarra Wieder, Kentucky State Director for PPAIK. “Bills like this put people’s health and lives in jeopardy. When abortion is not an option, Kentuckians suffer. States with more abortion restrictions tend to have poorer health outcomes for women and children than other states, including higher rates of maternal and infant mortality. Kentucky already has some of the most extreme abortion restrictions in the country – the last thing we need is the legislature to pave the way for a ban on safe, legal abortion.”
While the Republican supermajority is behind these bills, more than 10 Kentucky House Democrats voted in favor of the bill, including Reps. Branham Clark, Graviss, Hatton, Hinkle, Howard, Meyer, Schamore, Sims, Stone,Tackett Laferty, Wheatley and Wiederstein.
In the U.S., 1 in 3 women of reproductive age lives in a state where abortion could be outlawed if Roe is overturned. That’s over 25 million people. Nationally, 77 percent of Americans believe that abortion should be safe and legal, and in Kentucky, nearly 7-in-10 people say they don’t want to see ‘laws passed that ban abortion in the state Legislature.'