Reproductive rights advocates condemn HB 3, as lawmakers rush to end abortion access in Kentucky
Frankfort, KY — Today, Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates (PPAA) and the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky (ACLU-KY) condemned the Kentucky General Assembly for advancing House Bill 3 and its package of anti-abortion policies. The state House of Representatives voted 77-20, sending the bill to the Senate for consideration. HB 3 piles on a long list of abortion restrictions, none of which are based in medical best practice and patient safety, and all of which will harm abortion patients and providers. The restrictions in HB 3 could completely eliminate access to abortion for nearly a million women and people of reproductive age across Kentucky if allowed to become law.
The key components of the bill include:
Restricting access to safe, effective medication abortion, ignoring current medical and scientific guidance;
Publishing the names of all physicians that provide medication abortion and creating a state-run “complaint portal” that would allow any member of the public to submit anonymous complaints about abortion providers, opening them up to increased harassment from anti-abortion extremists;
Creating a redundant and onerous FDA-like certification program under the state Board of Pharmacy targeting medication abortion drugs that would require drug manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacies to register and certify with the state. This would be an unprecedented oversight of a drug regimen with a proven safety record.
Undermining the judicial bypass process for minors who are seeking an abortion by adding a waiting period for some youth and creating administrative requirements that will be impossible for some youth to fulfill;
Prohibiting health care facilities from safely and respectfully handling fetal remains in accordance with accepted medical standards and practice;
Requiring the state to promote the fraudulent idea that medication abortion can be reversed; and
Expanding existing restrictions that prohibit public funding from being given to any institution that performs, refers for, or counsels about abortions.
Statement from Tamarra Wieder, Kentucky State Director for Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates:
“We are looking at the last few weeks of abortion access in Kentucky if this bill passes. The state Legislature is out of control. Access to abortion is hanging by a thread across this country and here at home,” said Tamarra Wieder, Kentucky State Director for Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates. “Politicians have already put in place a myriad of discriminatory and medically unnecessary barriers to abortion care, like forced ultrasounds, waiting periods, and biased anti-abortion counseling requirements – stigmatizing, shaming, and delaying time-sensitive and essential care. HB 3’s expansive and politically-motivated reporting requirements go so far beyond what is needed to “improve public health” that they actually endanger patients and providers, and will ultimately ban access entirely for anyone in need of an abortion across the commonwealth.
“No one’s personal medical decisions should be controlled by politicians, family members, or anyone else. HB 3 would eventually make abortion access a procedure available only to those with the means to leave the state. Your zip code and financial status shouldn’t determine your ability to access abortion care. We will never stop fighting for every Kentuckians’ right to access safe and legal abortion.”
Statement from Jackie McGranahan, Policy Strategist for ACLU-KY:
“House Bill 3 is designed to push a safe and effective method of abortion care out of reach, shame and ostracize patients, and make the process of seeking and providing abortion care so difficult that patients will forgo care and providers will close their doors,” said Jackie McGranahan, Policy Strategist for the ACLU of Kentucky.
“The House passage of House Bill 3 demonstrates abject ignorance of medical science and is a dangerous effort to push important reproductive healthcare out of reach for all Kentuckians, regardless of their circumstances.
House Bill 3 is an extensive 60-page bill with several provisions designed to restrict access to safe and effective medication abortion care. Proponents say these restrictions are to improve safety despite abortion care having lower complication rates than simple procedures like wisdom tooth extractions. HB3 is so extreme it would even make it more difficult for minors who have survived violence or trafficking to seek care. HB3 would also force all people who seek abortion care or have a miscarriage in a healthcare facility to enter their names into the public record, along with the names of their partners (or perpetrators of violence) – a gross violation of patient privacy.”
Kentucky is one of 12 states with a trigger law that would ban abortion in most cases if Roe v Wade is overturned, a real threat that could actualize with a U.S. Supreme Court decision coming this summer. Last March, the Kentucky Legislature passed a state constitutional amendment with the explicit goal of making it easier to ban all abortion in the state if Roe falls. It is clear that the Kentucky General Assembly will not stop until abortion is completely banned. Our elected leaders are out of touch with what Kentuckians want and we must hold them accountable.
Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates, Serving AK, HI, ID, IN, KY, WA (PPAA) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization educating residents and policymakers about reproductive health issues in Alaska, Hawai‘i, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky and Washington. PPAA lobbies and educates to advance Planned Parenthood's mission, and engages in limited electoral activities.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kentucky is freedom's watchdog, working daily in the courts, legislature and communities to defend individual rights and personal freedoms. For additional information, visit our website at: www.aclu-ky.org.