Ky. Senate Approves Two Antiabortion Bills

February 13, 2013 — The Kentucky Senate on Friday voted 31-4 to approve two bills that would require new steps before a woman could have an abortion, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports. The measures now advance to the House, where they are expected to stall.

In-Person Consultation Bill

The first bill (SB 4), sponsored by state Sen. Jimmy Higdon (R), would require a woman seeking an abortion to schedule a face-to-face meeting in a private setting with a physician, licensed nurse, physician assistant or social worker assigned by a physician.

State Sen. Kathy Stein (D), one of the bill's four opponents, said the measure was "overreaching." She noted that patients and providers can consult through telemedicine consultations without meeting in person, which is especially helpful for people living in rural areas.

Ultrasound Bill

The second bill (SB 5), sponsored by Sen. Paul Hornback (R), would require a doctor to perform an ultrasound and show the woman the image before an abortion.

Physicians found to violate the law would face a $100,000 fine for a first offense and up to $250,000 for additional offenses. The measure does not include an exception for women whose pregnancies are the result of rape or incest, according to Stein (Brammer, Lexington Herald-Leader, 2/8).