Senator rightly blasts bill to restrict abortions

Republicans out to pile more restrictions on Kentucky's already restrictive abortion laws portray their attempts as consumer protection, public safety and a favor to women.

In his first major floor speech the Senate's newest member, Reginald Thomas, D-Lexington, called Senate Bill 3 what it really is: "A guilt trip that we want to impose on women. We want to engage in humiliation, embarrassment and shaming" because of a decision that is their constitutional right to make.

The measure, which would make it more expensive and difficult for women, especially rural women, to obtain abortions sailed out of the Senate 33 to 5.

It would require a face-to-face consultation at least 24 hours before an abortion could be performed.

Kentucky's only abortion providers are in Lexington and Louisville, so this bill would require many women to make two trips or pay for an overnight stay. It would be especially burdensome on low-income women.

Under the informed consent law that the legislature enacted in 1998, women are now receiving the legally mandated briefing by telephone. They must certify in writing that they have received the information.

In an age when doctors practice medicine via the internet and college degrees can be had online, it's insulting to suggest that Kentucky women require a face-to-face consultation to understand the risks of ending a pregnancy.

This legislation is exactly what Thomas said — an attempt to degrade the rights of Kentucky women.