FRANKFORT – House Bill 3, a multi-faceted piece of legislation known as the Humanity in Healthcare Act, passed in the Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection committee on Tuesday morning. It will now go before both legislative chambers for a vote.
The bill, which addresses medical abortions, the disposal of fetal remains, abortion on minors, abortion complications and abortion reporting in the Commonwealth, inspired heated debate in Tuesday’s committee meeting.
Christopher Harlow, executive director of the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy, who assumed a neutral position, expressed concern over some of the bill’s language—including the allocation of funds for the Board to provide the proposed “Kentucky Abortion-Inducing Drug Certification” program, a lack of jurisdiction to regulate abortion pills in the state, and the inability of the Board to regulate physicians.
“We do not regulate interstate manufacturers, nor do we track drugs coming into the state,” Harlow explained. “And while we could make prohibitions, there’s really no way of effectively tracking this information.”
“This bill piles on a long list of abortion restrictions, none of which are based in medical best practice and patient safety, and all of which will harm abortion patients and providers,” testified Tamarra Wieder, Kentucky state director for Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates.
Another witness who suffered from an ectopic pregnancy that necessitated the removal of the fetus from her fallopian tube stated: “Our choices are ours and it’s none of your business.”
Proponents of the bill addressed the complications caused by abortion pills and the bill’s aim of requiring in-person dispensation of drugs that induce abortion after the FDA removed the in-person requirement for mifepristone in December last year.
“Under Barack Obama, the FDA removed complication reporting requirements for all complications except for death,” said Katie Glenn, government affairs counsel at Americans United for Life, claiming the FDA’s December decision was political. “So the same data that they say means that there were no complications…we only have no data because the FDA stopped collecting it five years ago.”
Several legislators explained their vote, with Rep. Patti Minter, D-Warren, expressing concern that the bill’s supporters did not bring a Kentucky physician to the meeting as a witness and Rep. Jim DuPlessis, R-Hardin, noting that he wanted to maintain the rights of every human being, including those in the womb.