After brief but sharp debate, Senate panel passes bill to require ultrasounds before abortions

01/30/2014 11:55 AM

The Senate’s second key bill regarding abortion passed through committee 8-1 Thursday — a measure that requires doctors to show a woman seeking an abortion the ultrasound of her fetus.

“It’s informed consent, not guilt-trip consent,” said Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Hopkinsville, who was sponsoring the bill, Senate Bill 8 . The full Senate already passed Senate Bill 3, which would require women to get a face-to-face consultation with a physician before getting an abortion. It’s unclear whether either measure will come up for a vote in the House, where House Health and Welfare Committee Chairman Tom Burch has declined to bring similar bills before his committee in the past.

On Thursday morning, only Derek Selznick, director of the reproductive freedom project at the ACLU, testified on the bill.

He told Westerfield that the senator may have “been misinformed” because Kentucky law allows doctors to show women photos of the ultrasound. But Westerfield, through the bill, is seeking to require that.

Selznick also said similar bills have been found unconstitutional by courts in Oklahoma and North Carolina. And he tried to appeal to fiscal conservatives that states have spent more than $1 million each trying to defend such laws in court.

Westerfield offered an immediate rebuttal, saying that no amount of money could cover the cost of a life.

Here’s a clip:

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