Four Pro-life Bills Killed; SB 9 Still Alive

It was no particular surprise but four pro-life bills were killed by the Kentucky House Health and Welfare Committee yesterday.

The one silver lining is that Senate Bill 9 is still in play. This bill would require an abortionist to give a woman considering an abortion the opportunity to see an ultrasound of her developing baby before making a final decision.

The votes to kill House bills 243, 390, 215 and 374 were not unexpected given that the House Health and Welfare Committee has become the designated place in recent years for House leadership to send pro-life bills to die. The committee is stacked with pro-abortion legislators so that no pro-life legislation has much of a chance. In yesterday’s voting, each bill was killed by a 10-6 margin on a strict party-line vote.

House Bill 243 would have banned out-of-state minors from getting a judge in Kentucky to okay an abortion without the knowledge or consent of her parents. House bills 215 and 390 would have banned abortion after 20 weeks, a stage at which the baby is actually viable. House Bill 374 would require face-to-face counseling for a patient 24 hours before an abortion.

The obvious stacking of the Health and Welfare Committee prompted three pro-life organizations to actually boycott yesterday’s hearing on the bills as a protest.  Kentucky Right to Life, the Catholic Conference of Kentucky and the Family Foundation of Kentucky each joined Rep. David Floyd, R-Bardstown, who had presented three of the bills, in staying outside the committee room during the hearing.

Floyd and the three groups used their boycott to make the case that the bills were not receiving a fair hearing by being sent to the stacked committee where the bills would be sure to fail.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said that abortion legislation was always sent to this particular committee.

Michael Janocik of Kentucky Right to Life said Friday, however, that there are many instances when bills dealing with life issues were sent to other committees. He cited the following examples:

1998

HB 85 The original Informed Consent regulation requiring abortion providers to provide counseling and information about medical risks, fetal development, and alternatives to abortion in a “personal, private setting” at least 24 hours prior to the performance of an abortion passed in 1998 after going through the House Judiciary Committee.

HB214 – An act relating to abortion and informed consent was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.

HB292 – An act relating to crimes and punishments to include an unborn child in utero in the definition of human being  was assigned to the Judiciary Committee.

HB293 – An act relating to wrongful deaths to allow for prosecution of crimes against the unborn child was assigned to the Judiciary Committee.

2000

HB440 – An act relating to public health and abstinence education was assigned to the Education Committee.

2002

HB138 – An act relating to human cloning and killing embryonic human life for research was assigned to the Judiciary Committee.

HB315 – An act relating to wrongful death of an unborn child was assigned to the Judiciary Committee.

2003

HB385 – An act relating to fetal pain was assigned to the Judiciary Committee.

HB29 – An act regarding fetal homicide was assigned to the Judiciary Committee.

HB244 – An act relating to wrongful death of the unborn child was assigned to the Judiciary Committee.

SB41 – An act relating to fetal homicide was assigned to the Judiciary Committee.

2004

HB32 – An act relating to abortion was assigned to the State Government Committee.

HB108 – An act relating to fetal homicide was assigned to the Judiciary Committee.

HB26 – An act to prohibit partial birth abortion was first assigned to the Health and Welfare Committee and then reassigned to the Judiciary Committee.

2005

HB152 – An act relating to the reporting of abortions was assigned to the House Health and Welfare Committee and then assigned to the Judiciary Committee.

HB149 – An act relating to embryonic stem cell research to prohibit killing embryonic human life was assigned to the Judiciary Committee.

2006

HB585 – An act relating to abortion to require abortionists to require face-to-face counseling was first assigned to the Health and Welfare Committee and then reassigned to the State Government Committee.

2007

HB251 – A bill to affirm that there is no right to an abortion in the Kentucky Constitution was assigned to the Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee.

2008

SB40 – A bill to make a ultrasound required before performance of abortion was assigned to the Judiciary Committee.

Fortunately, at this point at least, Senate Bill 9, is still alive in the House Health and Welfare Committee so it is important for legislators to continue to hear from their constituents. If enough calls are received, legislators will be pressured to either move the bill to another committee for consideration or approve it so that it can be heard by the full House.

Please continue to pray for this situation and that the legislators will allow Senate Bill 9 to receive a fair hearing before the full House. Also, please contact your legislator and the members of the committee.

Call 1-800-372-7181 and leave a message for your legislator and other House leaders asking that Senate Bill 9 be sent to the full House for a vote or moved to another committee. You don’t have to know the name of your legislator. The operator will help you get the message to the right individual.

Here is a list of the members of the House Health and Welfare Committee. Please stand up for unborn children by letting these committee members hear from you.

Have the operator also copy the following House leaders:

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