House panel votes down three informed consent bills in committee

03/20/2014 04:12 PM

In yet another session, a House panel voted down several bills which would have required women who are considering an abortion to have a face-to-face consultation with a doctor and have the option of reviewing an ultrasound.

With the votes falling down party lines as Democrats voted against the measures and Republicans voting for each time the bills they came up, they were voted down in committee.

HB 575 which was proposed by Democratic Rep. Gerald Watkins of Paducah was first heard in committee. It also seeks to require an ultrasound before an abortion, and the legislation has 61 co-sponsors, including Democratic Rep. Tommy Thompson, the majority whip, who testified in favor of the bill.

Last week, Republican members of the House filed a discharge petition in an attempt to force a vote on another informed consent related bill sent over from the Senate.

GOP committee members sought to remind the panel of that move and ask for clarification and some level of assurance that if a measure passed the committee it would actually be heard on the floor. However, those concerns proved moot when all the Democrats in the committee vote against all three bills.

Rep. Russell Webber, R-Shepherdsville, called the committee proceedings a “political sham” and indicated the move to defeat the bills in committee were political cover before the fall elections.

Here are the highlights from those debates:

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or


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