Senate passes 20 week abortion ban

01/05/2017 06:28 PM

FRANKFORT — Republicans in the state Senate were joined by four Democratic lawmakers on Thursday in passing a law which would make abortions after 20 weeks into a pregnancy illegal.

Senate Bill 5 passed the full Senate with a 30 – 6 vote with Democratic Senators Ray Jones, Dorsey Ridley, Dennis Parrett and Johnny Ray Turner joining their Republican colleagues in voting the bill out of the upper chamber.

However, not everyone in the Senate was in favor of the bill. Democratic Sen Reggie Thomas of Lexington voted against the bill, saying government should not tell a woman how to regulate her own body.

Despite initially telling reporters on Tuesday that the bill contained exceptions for rape and incest Sen. Brandon Smith, R-Hazard, the sponsor of Senate Bill 5 did concede when asked about the bill that there was no provision allowing an abortion after 20-weeks in those cases.

“After 20-weeks, because now you have a viable child here … After 20 weeks this child has a fighting chance to come into this world and not be terminated at that point,” Smith said.

The legislation now heads to the House for their consideration. The bill does contain an emergency clause, which means the law would go into effect once concurred on in the House and signed into law by Gov. Matt Bevin, R-Kentucky.

Video produced by senior reporter Don Weber

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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