SB 321 mimics the Mississippi abortion ban currently under review by the U.S. Supreme Court
Frankfort, KY — Despite already having a 15-week abortion ban on the books, the Kentucky Senate voted today (30-6) to pass Senate Bill 321, which would put two 15-week abortion bans on the Kentucky books. This latest abortion ban is a copycat of Mississippi’s law under review by the U.S. Supreme Court. SB 321 is a direct attempt by Kentucky lawmakers to take advantage of a conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court to undermine Kentuckians’ constitutional right to abortion as much as possible.
Like the 15-week ban our state has already passed, the Mississippi ban still has not been held to be constitutional and has never gone into effect. Kentucky’s existing 15-week ban, which passed in 2018, is still facing active legal challenges for its violation of the constitutional right to abortion. The Mississippi law is currently blocked, with both a federal district court and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals recognizing it is unconstitutional.
Major medical providers like the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics oppose this type of 15-week abortion ban, because they put safe and timely abortion care out of reach from patients, and put patients’ health and wellbeing at risk. This bill is cruel and dangerous. It contains no exceptions for survivors of rape and incest. And it ignores polling that shows Kentuckians want legal access to abortion.
Statement from Tamarra Wieder, Kentucky State Director for Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates:
“This bill is cruel political theater at the cost of patients in Kentucky,'' said Tamarra Wieder, Kentucky State Director for Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates. “It is unacceptable that patients would be forced to wait until their health and lives are at extreme risk before accessing the care they need. People in Kentucky deserve policies that will make them safer and healthier, not attacks on their fundamental rights that strip people of the freedom to make the best medical decision for themselves.
“Let’s be real: the Kentucky General Assembly isn’t wasting any time in its attempt to limit access to abortion ahead of the Supreme Court’s decision on Mississippi’s 15-week ban. This bill along with House Bill 3, a 60+ page omnibus anti-abortion bill, shows that legislators will stop at nothing in order to ban abortion outright.”
Abortion restrictions fall hardest on our most vulnerable communities, pushing access out of reach for anyone who doesn’t have the financial luxury to seek care out of state. We are at a crisis point here and across this country when it comes to abortion access. We need all health care champions to speak out against these bad bills, because silence in this moment is as good as being complicit in passing them.
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.