Friday, February 6, 2015

Ultrasound bill clears state Senate

 FRANKFORT – The state Senate passed a bill today by a 31-5 vote that would change the informed consent process required prior to an abortion.

 Senate Bill 7 would require a medical doctor to perform an ultrasound prior to a woman giving informed consent to having an abortion, said Sen. Julie Raque Adams, R-Louisville, who sponsors the bill along with Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Hopkinsville.

“Full disclosure is so important to the health of the mother and her baby,” Adams said. “Kentucky women deserve no less. In closing, we need to stop chipping away at the right for Kentucky women to receive the healthcare and the answers they deserve.”

 Sen. Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville, explained his vote against SB7.

“This is my third session here in the state Senate and I don’t think anyone’s opinion has been changed by the debate on this floor in those three years,” he said. “We talked a lot today about the court decisions and what those mean. We didn’t talk about what is actually in the bill. The one thing I would like to point out, in explaining my ‘no’ vote, is that do not see any exceptions for women who have been the victim of rape … .”

 SB 7 now goes before the state House for consideration.

In January, the state Senate passed another abortion-related measure, known as Senate Bill 4, and sent it to the House for consideration.

SB 4 calls for a face-to-face meeting between the pregnant woman and a healthcare provider at least 24-hours before an abortion takes place. Adams explained last month that current law states a physician, licensed nurse, physician assistant or social worker must verbally inform the woman of the medical risks and abortion alternatives at least 24-hours before an abortion, but it does not specify that the information be given in a face-to face meeting. She added that it is sometimes done via a recorded telephone message.