The Kentucky House Judiciary committee has approved a bill banning a certain type of abortion procedure after about 11 weeks. The measure now goes on to the full House for a vote.
The procedure some lawmakers want to prohibit is called dilation and evacuation. It involves removing the fetus using suction and surgical tools which some lawmakers say is brutal. The Courier Journal reports the legislation would ban abortions that result in the bodily dismemberment or crushing of a fetus that is 11 weeks old or more, except in medical emergencies. Republican senator Addia Wuchner of Florence supports the bill.
“This is not a total ban on abortion in the commonwealth after 11 weeks but a prohibition of a procedure that is gruesome brutal and not necessary since other women would have other methods available to them,” Wuchner said.
While the bill would make it a felony for anyone to intentionally perform the procedure, the patient could not be charged under the legislation. Opponents said it would criminalize a safe procedure and interfere with a doctor’s ability to provide patients with evidence-based care. Katie Miller is with the ACLU and testified against the bill.
“House bill 454 would ban the most common method of second trimester abortion,” Miller said. “It prevents physicians from using their best medical judgement when providing options related to pregnancy including abortions.”
Opponents of the bill said it would severely limit women’s access to safe abortions. They said without access to the procedure, some women would be limited to undergoing a more expensive abortion procedure that takes longer and involves a hospital stay.