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March 12, 2024

Legislation Alert: Kentucky Introduces HB 711, To Expand Abortion Access in The State

 

Kentucky may have recently re-elected its pro-abortion Democrat Governor, but the fight to protect life is continuing in the Bluegrass State. 

Students for Life Action started the legislative session in Kentucky with a student lobby day, warning that Republican legislators were scheming to introduce legislation to write loopholes into Kentucky’s pro-life laws that would open the doors for Planned Parenthood and leave preborn babies currently protected vulnerable to the violence of abortion. Our letters to legislators and flyers urged legislator to reject weakening Kentucky’s strong pro-life laws.  

Specifically pointing out a bill filed by Republicans last session, Students for Life Action called on pro-life voters to mobilize and remain vigilant to ensure Republicans did not cave and allow such exceptions. Our warnings were initially denounced by other pro-life groups active in Kentucky, but later proven correct.  

 House Bill 711, filed by Republican State Rep. Ken Fleming, R-Louisville, and cosponsored by Reps. Gooch and Timoney, (introduced over a month later on the last day to file legislation) seeks to create unnecessary exceptions that weaken pro-life protections.  

Here’s what you need to know about House Bill 711, which Students for Life Action (SFLAction) strongly opposes, and here is a link to take action if you live in Kentucky. 

 

What’s at Stake: 

The Pro-Life Generation rejects discrimination and prejudice against children based on race, sex, age, perception of abilities, parental income, or the events of their conception. We reject shaming children for things beyond their control. The violence of abortion won’t erase the violence of rape. Instead, new pain and new problems emerge.   

As such, the introduction of House Bill 711 stands in stark contrast to our viewpoint. 

Rather, SFLAction has tried to encourage alternatives to abortion, based upon that principle of protecting life as well as data driven approaches to the problem of abortion.  

The Elliot Institute surveyed 192 women who conceived during a rape or incest. Of those victims, 70% carried the baby to term and either raised the child or made an adoption plan, 29% had an abortion, and 1.5% had a miscarriage.  

  • 78% of those who aborted had regrets and said that abortion was the wrong solution.  
  • None of the women who gave birth said they regretted their decision.  

In a separate survey from The Charlotte Lozier Institute, 67% of women described their abortions as against their values, unwanted, or coerced. 

What The Legislation Does: 

If signed into law, HB 711 would:  

  • Allow for abortions in cases of rape or incest within six weeks of the woman’s last menstrual period. 
  • Mandate that abortions can only be conducted to preserve the life or health of the mother, remove a dead fetus, address ectopic pregnancies or miscarriages, or due to fetal anomalies.  
  • Mandate a private medical consultation before the procedure and require documentation of the necessity for the abortion.  
  • Reiterate that the law doesn’t prohibit birth control methods or devices.  
  • Require voluntary and informed written consent from the woman seeking an abortion, including information about the procedure, gestational age, medical risks, and alternatives.  
  • Mandate the provision of printed materials regarding available assistance agencies, prenatal care, and support obligations of the father.  
  • Address the handling of medical emergencies and the consequences for physicians failing to comply. 

 

What We Have Said About the Issue: 

SFLAction has lobbied for years to protect preborn babies, regardless of their origins, pushing back against legislation that allows for exceptions. We have written extensively about this as well: 

However, SFLAction has called for stronger punishments for the crime of rape, demanding that in all case:  

  • Safety comes first and love and supportive services second. The authorities must be active to protect the innocent.    
  • Resources, like those at Standing with You, must be provided.  
  • Abusers must be prosecuted. The events didn’t start with a pregnancy, but with a criminal act that must be addressed.  

 

Stay tuned to this blog for future updates, as we track the progress of this legislation.   

 

To learn more about other legislation moving through Congress that SFLAction supports, CLICK HERE.