FRANKFORT (KT) – The Kentucky Senate advanced House Bill 3, a multi-faceted pro-life measure, on Tuesday afternoon after more than an hour of heated debate and chants from the gallery by pro-abortion activists.
The bill, also known as the Humanity in Healthcare Act, addresses medical abortions (regulating the dispensing of abortion pills), the disposal of fetal remains, judicial bypass and parental consent for abortion on minors, abortion complications and abortion incidence reporting in the commonwealth.
“House Bill 3 strengthens Kentucky’s existing laws, providing for greater transparency and more opportunities for women to understand that abortion is never the best choice,” said Sen. Ralph Alvarado, chair of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee that reviewed HB 3 before advancing it to the Senate floor.
“While the (Supreme Court) established the right to abortion, it simultaneously expressed that the state has a legitimate interest in seeing to it that abortion, like any other medical procedure, is performed under circumstances that ensure maximum safety for the patient,” Alvarado said.
One floor amendment, exempting victims of rape and incest from the measures of HB 3, failed on the floor by a 26-9 vote.
The Senate did adopt a floor amendment tacking Senate Bill 321 onto HB 3. The Senate bill is a 15-week abortion ban mirroring Mississippi legislation at the epicenter of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, a Supreme Court case that could undermine or overturn Roe v. Wade. SB 321 passed in the Senate but later stalled in a House committee.
“In the event that the Supreme Court upholds the Mississippi legislation as constitutional, we will then have a pro-life law in place that would not be subject to a good faith legal challenge,” said Sen. Max Wise, primary sponsor of the bill and its Senate floor amendment to HB 3.
Sen. Reginald Thomas said the bill was “really harsh and unfair” to women. Sen. David Yates stated his belief that the passage of the bill would “cost lives.” Sen. Karen Berg, Sen. Gerald Neal and Sen. Morgan McGarvey also spoke in opposition.
The final vote was disrupted by several outbursts. Pro-abortion advocates began chanting “abortion is healthcare” while holding banners over the edge of the gallery. One individual screamed “Shame on you! You’re killing women!” at legislators as she was escorted out alongside those chanting. Another shouted an expletive at Sen. Adrienne Southworth as she was explaining her aye vote.
HB 3 passed with a 29-0 vote, with opposing senators declining to cast a nay or pass vote. Many stepped out of the chamber as the roll was called.
The House concurred Tuesday night, 74-19, and now goes to the governor. Read the full text of the bill here.