kentucky legislatureFRANKFORT, Ky. (3/7/18) — A House committee voted today to ban an abortion procedure known as a “D & E” for women who are at least 11 weeks into their pregnancy except in medical emergencies.
HB 454 sponsor Rep. Addia Wuchner, R-Florence, told the House Judiciary Committee earlier this week that her bill would not completely ban abortion at or after 11 weeks, but would target only the D & E — or dilation and evacuation — procedure which she described as an “intentional dismemberment procedure.”
Specifically, HB 454 would prohibit any abortion that “will result in the bodily dismemberment, crushing or human vivisection of the unborn child” when the likely post-fertilization age is 11 week of more, except in a medical emergency. A D & E is described by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as an abortion method that uses “sharp instrument techniques, but also suction and other instrumentation such as forceps for evacuation.”
“While there is no doubt that I am pro-life, this is not a total ban on abortion in the Commonwealth after 11 weeks, but a prohibition on a procedure that is gruesome, brutal and not necessary since women have other methods available to them,” said Wuchner.
Wuchner said other procedures that a woman can pursue for abortion at or after 11 weeks include dilation and curettage (D & C) and induction abortion.
Those speaking against the bill in committee this week included Marcie Crim of the Kentucky Health Justice Network. Crim said that of the 42 million abortions that the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates are performed worldwide each year, at least 20 million are considered “unsafe.”
“Where there are restrictive abortion laws, there are unsafe abortions,” Crim told the committee.
Intentional violation of the HB 454 would be a Class D felony under the legislation, with legal immunity for the pregnant woman on whom the procedure is performed.
House Bill 454 is the second bill proposing limits on abortion procedures to make it to the floor of the Kentucky House in a little over a year. Legislation prohibiting abortions in Kentucky at or after 20 weeks of pregnancy, except when the mother’s life is in danger, passed into law in 2017 under Senate Bill 5.
HB 454, which is also sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Joe Fischer, R-Ft. Thomas, now goes to the full House for its consideration.

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