FRANKFORT, KY - Governor Matt Bevin signed two bills on Monday restricting abortions in Kentucky, just days after they were quickly introduced and passed in the legislature. The state Senate approved the measure requiring an ultrasound before an abortion in a 32-5 vote, and the House voted 83-12 in favor of a 20-week abortion ban.
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks when strong scientific evidence indicates unborn babies can feel pain.The 20-week ban has no exceptions for cases of rape or incest, and only allows abortions past the threshold if the mother's life is threatened. Kentucky is now the 16th state to enact a Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
The second bill, the Ultrasound Informed Consent Act, requires medical staff to perform an ultrasound prior to the abortion and allow the woman to see it if she chooses. It also requires the medical staff to describe the image of the unborn child, its size, organs and other features, and allow the mother to hear the baby's heartbeat.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were at least 5,770 late-term abortions at or after 21 weeks of pregnancy in 2013 in the U.S. Approximately 8,150 abortions took place between 18 weeks and 20 weeks.
"Liberty Counsel commends Governor Bevin and legislators for protecting the lives of children and women in Kentucky with the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and the Ultrasound Informed Consent Act," said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. "Abortion takes the life of an innocent human being and has enormous physical and psychological consequences on the mother. Liberty Counsel stands ready to provide pro bono defense if the ACLU challenges these laws," said Staver.