A second abortion bill passed a state Senate committee Thursday.
Senate Bill 8, sponsored by Sen. Whitney Westerfield, would require doctors to administer an ultra-sound before performing an abortion and describe what is seen to the patient. Under the legislation, doctors who fail to comply would be fined up to $100,000 for a first offense and a maximum of $250,000 for a second.
Sen. Jimmy Higdon says the measure easily sailed through committee, but supporters have no illusions about its chances on the other end of the Capitol.
"There is a lot of support for the pro-life issue in the Kentucky General Assembly, but in the House committee that it goes to, it typically does not pass," he says.
Westerfield argues the bill is about information, not coercion, but Derek Selznick with the Reproductive Freedom Project for the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky cautions that attempts at similar legislation in other states have been ruled unconstitutional. He says Kentucky’s law goes even further by requiring the physician to detail what they see.
Another measure requiring in-personal consultations between patients and doctors and a 24 hour waiting period passed the Senate last week.