Senate Approves Abortion Measure

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Physicians would be required to perform
ultrasounds and present the images to pregnant women before
providing abortions under legislation that steamrolled through the
state Senate on Thursday.
State Rep. Jack Westwood, R-Crescent Spring, said ultrasound
technology produces images that women should see before they decide
to terminate their pregnancies.
"The idea is that what is inside this woman is not a mass of
tissue, but, in fact, is a live baby," said Westwood, sponsor of
the legislation that has drawn vocal opposition from
abortion-rights advocates.
The legislation gives women the option not to look at the
ultrasound images if they don't want to.
Among other provisions, the measure would require doctors to
consult with women 24 hours before terminating their pregnancies
and would adopt a federal ban on the late-term procedures that
opponents refer to as partial birth abortions.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the legislation Thursday
morning and sent it to the GOP-controlled Senate floor where it
passed hours later 32-4. The measure now goes to the House where
Democratic lawmakers said they will consider it.
House Speaker Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, said he can't
predict how the bill will fare.
"It will go through the normal process, and we'll see," he
said. "I haven't studied it or read it, and I just don't know."
Kathy Rutledge, a member of the anti-abortion group Operation
Outcry, told lawmakers that she has been haunted for three decades
by her decision to terminate a pregnancy in 1977. She said if she
had seen an ultrasound image, she never would have done it.
"A picture can be worth a thousand words," Rutledge told
However, Kate Cunningham, a volunteer advocate for the
Reproductive Freedom Project in Louisville, said the bill is "an
attempt to micromanage the practice of medicine." She said the
24-hour wait required in the bill creates a hardship on women from
rural parts of the state who have to drive long distances to get to
one of Kentucky's three abortion clinics in Lexington and
Amy Irvin, a Louisville graduate student, made an emotional plea
for lawmakers to abandon the measure, saying women who have been
the victims of rape would be traumatized a second time if the
measure becomes law.
"Physicians, not politicians, should decide what is best for
women," Irvin said.
State Rep. Tom Burch, D-Louisville, said he believes the bill
would make it more difficult for women to obtain abortions in
"What do we do after the child is born?" he asked. "Who is
going to take care of it if the mother doesn't want it."
Senators voting against the measure were Denise Harper Angel,
D-Louisville; Gerald Neal, D-Louisville; Ernesto Scorsone,
D-Lexington; and Tim Shaughnessy, D-Louisville.
The legislation is Senate Bill 40.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by Brent Location: Mt. Sterling on Feb 10, 2008 at 11:18 AM
    Anything the legislature can do to cause a woman to seriously reflect on her decision to end the life of her baby is worth fighting for. The woman is given a choice of viewing the ultrasound. It is not mandatory. It is interesting to hear the liberal voices in Congress today who are raising concerns about waterboarding and torture of prisoners but who have no problem with aborting innocent lives in the womb. Amazing.
  • by Me! Location: Ky on Feb 10, 2008 at 06:34 AM
    I have friends that have had abortions and regret it daily. I would say that 85% of women that do this if they were truthful would say they regret it.Rape,illness that should be the womans choice. Teen pregnacy ect. they should have to have the child and sign it over with no chance of getting it back. I also have several friends that have adopted from other countries.They would have gotten a baby here if all the red tape wasn't in the way.Adoptive parents I am sure would pay the medical cost to the state to get a baby.A baby is alive at conception.I don't care what anyone says. It is murder. If seeing a picture on ultrasound changes a mind and saves a baby....THANK GOD!!!I feel that a life is worth all the money in the world.If we have to spend more to save a life I am all for it.I for one would take a baby into my home and give it all the love I have given my own biological child.So yes I would "put up " so I don't have to "shut-up" !!!!!In God's eyes it is a life taken.
  • by johnny Location: ky on Feb 10, 2008 at 04:18 AM
    if i kill someone then i will get life in the pin or death.if a woman killes a unborn child then it is ok.
  • by Jack Location: Pike County on Feb 9, 2008 at 08:54 AM
    For all those who say, "Just give it up for adoption" unless you hadn't noticed; that's not what's happening, these unwanted babies are ending at the hands of "boyfriends", being left in cars to die, choked with baby wipes, blunt force trauma, etc. Forcing these women to have the baby is only compounding the problem.
  • by Charlotte T. Location: Barbourville on Feb 8, 2008 at 07:24 AM
    I think it is wonderful that the policitians are going to give an unborn child a chance at life. It is not the childs fault in all of this. There are so many people in the world that would love to have a baby. They should consider adoption if they do not want the baby.
  • by Anonymous Location: Louisville on Feb 8, 2008 at 06:44 AM
    The far right wing of the Christian sect is no different than the radicals in the Muslim sect. They are willing to terrorize people to accomplish their goals. With all the problems in this state, one of the first bills out of the Senate is a bill that is going to raise the cost of health insurance for all of us...that's just great. Now they are going to do an ultrasound (costs money) and then the woman can tell them that she doesn't want to see it. Then she will have to come back in for another office visit 24 hours later to have the procedure done. This bill accomplishes nothing in their "battle" against abortion except making it cost all of us more money, something that during this recession we don't have more of. Way to go idiots! VOTE OUT EVERY LEGISLATOR THIS FALL SO WE CAN START NEW WITH PEOPLE WHO CAN MAKE SENSIBLE DECISIONS. The budget and our economy should be their first priority. God will take care of His own, as He always does. He doesn't need their help.
  • by Gina Location: Georgetown on Feb 8, 2008 at 06:34 AM
    It is not surprising to see that the 4 "against" votes are from representatives in Lou. and Lex. These are the only cities where women can obtain an abortion in the state of KY. I guess these representatives are influenced by the "money backing" of the abortion clinics/groups. How sad. There is no physical harm to these women to obtain an ultrasound and they are not even required to look at the babies. If waiting 24 hrs. saves women years of regret, is that really such an inconvenience? Why, as a society, would we not want all women to be fully aware of what an abortion means? If a woman changes her mind and continues the pregnancy, there are other available options for her and her baby. Tom Burch, D-Louisville, does not appear to be a very smart man with his comment. These representatives will have to answer one day for their actions. My prayers are for all of the women faced with this decision. All stages, all ages, I choose life.
  • by c Location: fkt on Feb 8, 2008 at 04:23 AM
    Tom Burch makes sense. If these women do not want these children, who will take care of them after they are born! If we force them to carry these children & they kill them later, then you will want to charge them with murder! I don't agree with abortion personally, but I think it is still the woman's choice to whether she wants the baby or not! We don't have enough foster care homes now for the children already here. The adoption process is so full of red tape that it's easier to adopt children from other countries rather than our own! So people need to put their money where their mouth is: if you are totally against abortion, then signup to adopt one of these children you save, or shut up and let these women alone! Churches are the worst, they wouldn't help one of these women support the child after its born, yet want to tell her she has to have the baby! Put up or shut up! The woman is the ONLY one who has to answer for her decision, so it should be her choice, between her & her God!
  • by BONITA Location: BUCKHANNON, WV on Feb 8, 2008 at 03:34 AM
  • by Bill on Feb 8, 2008 at 03:16 AM
    Take a picture of the new baby then kill it. HUH.What goverment we have in Ky???Shouldn't some one stand up for the life of the child.WOW
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