FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - The Kentucky House passed a bill on Monday to ban one “violent and dehumanizing’ abortion procedure after the first trimester.
House Bill 454 prohibits dilatation and evacuation after 11 weeks of pregnancy, according to its sponsor, Rep. Addia Wuchner, R-Florence.
“The violent and dehumanizing nature of an abortion that utilizes an intentional dismemberment process undermines the public perception of the appropriate role of a physician and confuses the medical and legal ethical duties of physicians to preserve and promote life,” Wuchner said.
She said the bill provides exceptions for medical emergencies and does not provide for the prosecution of the women, but a physician violating the ban would face a Class D felony, punishable by one to five years in prison.
“This bill is not an attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade,” Wuchner said during floor debate, “but it clearly affirms and recognizes the moral and physical concepts of human dignity, that a human being is entitled to receive.”
Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D- Louisville, spoke against the bill, calling it clearly unconstitutional. “But I’m happy to have it go to court, because I am an ACLU member, and they can certainly use the donation from the state of Kentucky. I think they’re due about a million dollars from the Kim Davis debacle.”
Marzian said similar legislation has been struck down by court in a half-dozen states. She tried to introduce a floor amendment that would call the bill “The ACLU Taxpayer Funded Act,” but House Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne, R-Prospect, ruled it out of order on the grounds it was frivolous.
Rep. Chris Fugate, R-Chavies, argued on behalf of the bill.
“This is not a political vote for me, it’s a right thing to do vote,” he said. “How could a doctor go inside a lady’s body and tear the limbs off a living, unborn child, is beyond my imagination. There is more respect for cattle at a cattle auction, than there is for unborn babies. There is more respect for horses in the horse industry.”
Another proponent was Rep. James Tipton, R-Taylorsville. “I’m sad that such a procedure even exists,” he said. “It’s about babies being torn apart.”
HB 454 passed on a 71-11 vote, and now heads to the Senate, where it is also expected to win easy passage.