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Kentucky Now Has Some of the Toughest Anti-Abortion Laws in the Country

FRANKFORT – Tonight, following the close of the legislative session for the Kentucky General Assembly, Tamarra Wieder, Public Affairs and Policy Director at Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK) issued the following statement on the four anti-abortion bills to pass out of the state House and Senate:

“SB 50, SB 9, HB 148, and HB 5 are all extreme bills that are part of a coordinated crusade to ensure Kentucky takes the lead as the most hostile state for reproductive rights in the nation. These bills are based on nothing more than an unpopular extremist agenda to put politicians in the exam room between a patient and provider. The energy and focus of our elected leaders in this General Assembly to put every possible barrier between Kentuckians and their legal health care is disgraceful. If elected leaders in Kentucky really cared about the people they represent, they would focus on commonsense ideas to expand access to birth control and reduce unintended pregnancies.

“These dangerous laws decimate a person’s right to control their life at the most basic level, including whether and when to become a parent. Enough is enough. Kentucky has the ninth-highest cervical cancer mortality rate in the country and that 73 of the 120 counties (more than 60 percent) do not have an OB-GYN provider. Our elected officials should focus more time and attention on the reproductive health crisis we are facing in this state. Right now, patients are facing high costs for health care, traveling hundreds of miles, and waiting weeks to get an abortion, if they can access services at all with the one provider left in the state. These barriers often have a disproportionate impact on communities of color, who already face systemic barriers in accessing quality health care. We were pleased to see a federal judge recently issue a temporary restraining order that blocks two new Kentucky laws aimed at restricting abortion because of the work by the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky.

“In a bit of good news, SB 18 the Pregnant Workers Protections Act passed with an overwhelming majority and is on its way to be signed by the governor. This bill protects workers from discrimination against pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions and will ensure pregnant workers are given fair treatment on the job. We are so proud of the passage of this bill because it protects Kentucky workers from having to choose between a paycheck and the health of their pregnancy. For more than four years Planned Parenthood fought for this bill and we will continue to fight for reproductive health care, and proactive legislation to improve the lives of Kentuckians.”