Kentucky Law: House Bill 3
Kentucky Republicans successfully passed a bill on Wednesday, April 13, 2022, that took effect immediately. This bill, now law, has brought all abortions in the state to a halt as abortion providers must now meet updated protocols. New requirements the law introduced include dignified disposal of fetal remains either by cremation or burial, full reporting of any adverse outcomes regarding abortion, and in-person distribution of the abortion pill as well as stricter training protocols for pharmacists handling abortion pills.
Pro-choice activists report that to adequately get a system in place that meets the law’s criteria, they would have to receive significant additional funding that would be difficult to obtain. Protestors gathered outside the Kentucky courthouse to verbalize their animosity toward this new bill, but this did not stop House and Senate Republicans from standing for the lives of the preborn babies of Kentucky as they overrode the Governor’s veto.
Particularly unique from some of the other bills that have been passed, this bill contained an emergency clause that ensured the bill immediately went into effect. Because of this, abortion providers in the state of Kentucky have already stopped performing abortions in fear of being out of compliance with the strict standards this bill places on abortion clinics and healthcare staff.
Nicole Erwin of Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates states that this bill “does not make abortion illegal, but because of the laundry list of restrictions…abortion providers will not be able to comply.”
Abortion supporters, including Planned Parenthood, voiced their intent to sue the Kentucky Attorney General in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky located in Bowling Green. They argue this bill violates women’s rights to abortion under Roe, placing a substantial burden on abortion clinics to provide services to women.
Florida’s House Bill 5: Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality Act
On Thursday, April 14, 2022, Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 5 which bans abortions after 15 weeks. This law will take effect on July 1, 2022. House Bill 5 only allows an abortion after 15 weeks in cases where the mother’s life would be in danger or serious harm. Two physicians must “certify in writing” that the continuation of a pregnancy would cause grave harm to the mother. The bill also allows abortions after 15 weeks in the case of fatal fetal disorders or conditions. It does not allow abortions to be performed after 15 weeks in cases of “rape, incest, or human trafficking.”
Governor DeSantis said,
“Life is a sacred gift worthy of our protection, and I am proud to sign this great piece of legislation which represents the most significant protections for life in the state’s modern history.”
Before this new bill, abortion was legal in Florida until 24 weeks gestation.
Governor DeSantis also used the signing of this bill to remember the lives of the five babies who were brutally killed by abortion in DC recently.
Both Kentucky and Florida’s laws do not consider the treatment of an ectopic pregnancy to be an abortion and therefore do not restrict women from receiving life-saving care due to an ectopic pregnancy.
As Roe’s time seems to be running out, lawmakers and pro-life advocates are feeling both hope and urgency like never before. Each day Roe remains, around 3000 babies die. Abortion access is still shockingly accessible in many places, such as Colorado and DC, with healthy viable babies being aborted. However, these new laws have made clear many conservative states know the power they have in protecting life and are taking the bold opportunity to do just that.