Ky. Lawmaker Includes New Abortion Restrictions In Domestic Violence Bill

Jan 14, 2014

Republican State Rep. Joe Fischer has amended a bill expanding domestic violence protections to include language further limiting abortions.

The amendment is in line with a national trend. Last year alone, 22 states passed 70 new provisions that introduced new restrictions to abortion access. Fischer’s initiative would ban abortions after 20 weeks, a marker after which the lawmaker says fetuses can feel pain.

Scientists have largely expressed skepticism about that claim, but Fischer maintains that abortions before that point constitute a form of “domestic violence.”

House Speaker Greg Stumbo told WUKY the connection appears tenuous.  

"I haven't looked at them that closely, but it would be my speculation that [the amendment] is probably not germane," he said Tuesday.

The U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on a similar measure out of Arizona Monday by declining to hear the case, a move that left a previous ruling that it was unconstitutional intact.

Kentucky law currently prohibits abortions after 22 weeks.

A separate bill, House Bill 184 would require a physician performing abortions to meet in person with a patient at least 24 hours before the scheduled procedure to answer patient questions about inform the patient of ultrasound imaging opportunities.