KY Senate Committee Advances Omnibus Abortion Bill that Would End Abortion in the Commonwealth
For Immediate Release: March 23, 2022
House Bill 3 is a massive package of anti-abortion policies based on junk science and misinformation that would endanger the health of nearly one million Kentuckians
Frankfort, KY — Today, Kentucky Senate Health and Welfare Committee members voted 8-2 to advance House Bill 3, a 60+ page omnibus package of anti-abortion policies full of sham science that will ultimately punish patients and providers. This package of restrictions is so extreme, it would make it impossible for providers to offer abortions as early as April, and force any Kentuckians looking for abortion care to travel out of state - including survivors of rape and incest.
HB 3 does nothing to improve patient care or outcomes and would instead exacerbate existing reproductive health care disparities. If Kentucky institutes a total abortion ban, experts predict we would see a 21 percent increase the number of pregnancy-related deaths and a 33 percent increase among Black women. The maternal mortality rate in Kentucky is more than double the national average. And the death rate for Black pregnant women is three to four times higher than it is for non-Hispanic white women. These numbers are unacceptable and will only get worse if lawmakers pass more draconian abortion bans.
Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates, ACLU-KY, Dr. Karen Berg, and other abortion advocates condemned HB 3 this morning, but were cut off after only 20 minutes of testimony while speaking to the Kentucky Senate Committee on Health and Welfare. Opponents of HB 3 testified during the hearing and called on members to vote “no” on this dangerous bill. All but Democratic Senators Karen Berg and Denise Harper Angel voted to advance HB 3 out of committee, sending it to the Senate floor for a full vote.
Nicole Aghaaliandastjerdi, a rape survivor, testified against HB 3, calling the bill an abusive obsticle to obtaining critical health care:
“Let me tell you something. Abusers come in many forms. Most are unassuming to the outside world. They have to be, otherwise they wouldn’t get very far,” said Aghaaliandastjerdi. “The best abusers, the most successful ones who cause the most harm are the ones who are really good at manipulation. They convince you that you’re the problem. They make you believe they have your best interest at heart. The commitment to this bill and they way legislators have used it as a tool to say they are pro-life is behavior demonstrated by the best abusers I’ve ever seen. Senators, if you pass this bill, you will most certainly join them.”
Tamarra Wieder, Kentucky State Director for Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates (PPAA):
“HB 3 is unconstitutional, dangerous, and against the wishes of the majority of Kentuckians who want access to safe and legal abortion care,” said Tamarra Wieder, Kentucky State Director for PPAA. “Physician and Kentucky State Senator Karen Berg became famous last weekend for speaking against the atrocious abortion bills moving through this legislature. People across this country and here at home agree that access to basic, time-sensitive abortion care should be accessible no matter where you live. We need more of our legislators to be like Dr. Berg, who fights to protect and strengthen their constituents’ health care system, not undermine it with medical misinformation and sham science that ultimately endangers the lives of Kentuckians.”
As many as 41 states have introduced bills that attempt to restrict abortion across the country this year. HB 3 combines some of the most egregious attacks into a laundry list of onerous and irresponsible requirements for abortion providers and patients. 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 that targets medication abortion drugs and would require drug manufacturers, distributors, pharmacies, and abortion facilities 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.
HB 3 is part of a coordinated attack to end safe and legal abortion completely here in the commonwealth and across the country. Right now, abortion is still safe and legal in Kentucky and Planned Parenthood will never stop fighting to keep it that way.
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.