Kentucky legislature passes the country’s strictest abortion bill

Kentucky legislature passes the country’s strictest abortion bill

The Kentucky House of Representatives [official website] on Tuesday approved one of the strictest abortion bills in the US, which bans a termination procedure after the eleventh week of pregnancy.

The procedure dilation and evacuation accounts for about 16 percent of Kentucky’s abortions [Reuters report]. HB 454 [text, PDF] deems it illegal to perform the procedure after the eleventh week of the gestation period. A physician who knowingly performs an abortion in violation of the bill can be found guilty of a class D felony. The bill does include an exception for medical emergencies, but not for rape or incest.

The bill originated in the House but came back for a vote after it was amended and approved [JURIST report] in the Senate last week. The bill passed in the House with a vote [bill history] of 75-13 and will now go to Governor Matt Bevin for approval.

Abortion laws continue to be a source of legal challenges in the US. Last week a court blocked [JURIST report] a Mississippi law that would outlaw all abortions after a 15-week gestation period. The Supreme Court also heard a case last week regarding a California law that requires [JURIST report] licensed clinics that list their primary purpose as providing family planning or pregnancy-related services to notify and inform all clients concerning the availability of free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services, prenatal care and abortion for eligible women.