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‘Born alive’ bill becomes Kentucky law

Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 4:47 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - As of Friday, doctors providing abortions must take all medically appropriate and reasonable steps to preserve the life and health of infants who survive. Senators supporting the bill say it has strong bipartisan support.

The bill is part of Senate Bill 9, which was introduced by Kentucky Senator Whitney Westerfield in 2019.

It’s the only GOP bill out of seven at the start of the year that was not vetoed by Governor Beshear.

A statement from the governor’s office says:

“SB9 involves a situation that, to our knowledge has never happened in Kentucky and is already illegal under other Kentucky laws.”

State Senator Karen Berg argued against the bill, saying it requires a physician to do something that’s not doable.

Senator Westerfield disagrees. He mentions the Norris family’s daughter Ava, born prematurely at 22 weeks and lived for 22 hours unassisted.

Now, Ava’s name is added to the title of the act, calling it Ava’s Law.

“Her purpose to help other babies when they’re born alive is that they get the treatment they need,” Ava’s mother Morgan Norris said.

Violation of SB 9 could cause a doctor’s license to be revoked or could even bring felony charges.

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