baby2 300FRANKFORT, Ky. (3/15/19) — A measure known as the “fetal heartbeat bill” that would prohibit abortion in Kentucky if heartbeat is detected in an unborn child is on its way to becoming law.

Senate Bill 9, sponsored by Sen. Matt Castlen, R-Owensboro, would require abortion providers to determine whether a fetal heartbeat can be detected before an abortion procedure could be performed. Exceptions for medical emergencies could be made per the bill.

The bill is expected to be sent to the governor soon, having received final passage in the House yesterday by a vote of 71-19. An emergency clause in the bill would require it to take effect immediately should it become law.

Rep. Chris Fugate, R-Chavies, sponsored SB 9 on the House floor. Before moving for the bill’s passage, Fugate shared a personal story about his second child who died in the womb.

He said he remembers “after an examination by the doctor, him telling us that there was no heartbeat. And I remember the heartbreak that we went through on that second child.”

Now the father of two children, Fugate said he often thinks of their first steps and first words. “As I thought about this bill the last few weeks, really in all actuality, the very first time my kids spoke to me were at the doctor’s office when I heard the heartbeat.

Voting against the bill was Rep. McKenzie Cantrell, D-Louisville, who said similar bills have been found unconstitutional in the state of Iowa and other jurisdictions.

“I voted no today because no court has ever found this type of legislation to be constitutional. And I am here today as a legislator who stood right here a few months ago and rose my right hand to uphold the constitution,” Cantrell said.

SB 9 passed the Senate by a 31-6 vote on Feb. 14. That vote followed Castlen’s request for his fellow Senators in the chamber to place two fingers on their wrists.

“What do you feel?” he said. “You feel your pulse. That’s a sign your heart is beating. It is undeniable that a heartbeat stirs life.”

SurfKY News

Information by LRC

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