House panel defeats three abortion-related bills

bmusgrave@herald-leader.comMarch 22, 2012 

FRANKFORT — Three bills that would put more requirements on abortion providers failed in the House Health and Welfare Committee on Thursday.

Senate Bill 103 would require that women be shown ultrasounds before abortions and calls for fines for doctors who do not do the ultrasounds. Women would be allowed to avert their eyes if they do not wish to see the ultrasounds, said Sen. Joe Bowen, the bill's sponsor.

"It's a bill about information," said Bowen, R-Owensboro.

Rep. Tim Moore, R-Elizabethtown, said the House had debated a bill earlier in the session that would require a restaurant to post what country its catfish came from. This bill is similar, Moore said.

"That was just an information bill," Moore said. This, too, just gives women more information, he said.

But Democrats on the committee expressed reservations about the measure and other abortion-related bills that were heard and eventually defeated Thursday.

Rep. Jim Glenn, D-Owensboro, said he was not for abortion but said the government should not put mandates on decisions made by individuals or families.

Glenn said he respected Bowen's personal beliefs, "but you have no right to force it on me."

Rep. David Watkins, a doctor, said physicians already perform ultrasounds on women before abortions. SB 103 was redundant, he said.

The measure was defeated 9-5 along party lines.

SB 102 would require a face-to-face consultation between a woman and her health care provider 24 hours before an abortion. That consultation would allow the woman to ask pertinent questions, said Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green, and sponsor of SB 102.

Kimberly Moore told committee members that she had three abortions from 1993 to 1998. Moore said she might have changed her mind if she was given more information.

"I did not know what procedures were going to take place," Moore said.

SB 102 was defeated 8-6, also along party lines.

The committee also voted down House Bill 164, the "fetal heartbeat" bill. The measure would prohibit abortions if a fetal heartbeat was detected. The committee voted 9-5 along party lines to defeat the measure.

Beth Musgrave: (502) 875-3793. Twitter: @BGPolitics. Blog: bluegrasspolitics.bloginky.com

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