Abortion outlook for Kentucky in 2024

This article will be updated.

The KY Legislature is confronting a ‘budget year’ session, which began Tuesday, January 2. Adjournment is set for Monday, April 15. The major push will be to pass a budget. Though a majority of Republicans rule, how might each one lean, item by item?

Let’s be concerned citizens and follow their hearings and votes. Use their Legislative Message Line, 1-800-372-7181!

Watch coverage of House and Senate discussions on KET.org/live/. KET’s Legislative Coverage 1 and 2 pages feature committee hearings and floor proceedings. There are also archived sessions. Example. The Legislature’s website is here.

At Session start, the legislators began publishing the ‘bill requests’ for 2024. In the past we were able to read proposed bills online— months or weeks in advance of the opening session. The legislature ended this practice in 2023 and many have objected to this new rule.

Here are some bills with which pro-lifers need to be familiar:

abortion-exceptions bill introduced by Hadley and David Yates

  • Louisville’s David Yates is sponsoring a bill to include rape exceptions, called “Hadley’s Law.” In the screenshot from WLKY news, he and Hadley are in the Capitol Rotunda to announce the bill.
    • SB 99 proposes to: Amend [various statutes and definitions] to allow an abortion when there is lethal fetal anomaly or the fetus is incompatible with sustained life outside the womb, or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest and the fetus has not reached viability as determined in the good-faith medical judgment of the physician.
    • Now is the time for pro-lifers to call the Legislative MESSAGE Line. Let’s remind our legislators that all life is sacred.
  • HB 63 has been introduced by Republican Kim Banta who represents Boone and Kenton counties. Pro-lifers usually agree with legislative initiatives that promote healthcare to protect the lives of women. However, some feel this payment coverage should be funded by private charities rather than big government.
    • This bill seeks to require coverage for an annual pap smear without cost sharing. Read more.
  • HB 52 has been proposed by Republican Deanna Frazier Gordon, Madison Co., to encourage and assist cancer screenings including those for breast and cervical cancers.
  • A lengthy and complex bill, SB 34, has been filed by Republican Senator Whitney Westerfield who represents Caldwell, Christian and Muhlenberg counties. Its mission is, in part, to require the eligibility periods for all public assistance programs administered by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services be extended to the maximum period of eligibility permitted under federal law. Read more.
    • Language relating to abortion states: No coverage for obtaining or performing an abortion is allowed. That is a common exclusion in bills that define the in’s-and-out’s of funding for healthcare.
    • As well, the bill calls for deep financial help for victims of rape and incest.

top donors to Senator David Yates

Image is a screenshot from FollowTheMoney.org and shows Yates’ top donors in his 2022 Senate race.

Let’s hope that the budget discussions will leave no time for talk about abortion exceptions. That will make 2024 a Happy New Year!

IN OTHER BABY-RELATED NEWS

Sen. Cassie Chambers Armstrong, D-Louisville, filed a bill January 8 that would eliminate Kentucky's 6% sales tax on the purchase of diapers. This bill is co-sponsored by Republican Senators Adrienne Southworth, Damon Thayer, Shelley Frommeyer, Julie Raque Adams, Whitney Westerfield and Gex Williams, and a few other Democrats.

In the old days, people used cloth diapers and dumped stuff in the toilet bowl, and had diaper pails to store the dirty ones before putting them in the wash with bleach. Then they were dried and folded. It was considered a streamlined process. Babies never complained and more important matters were addressed in the legislature, not diapers.

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