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PHOTO CREDITS: 4D Ultrasound of fetal yawning at 30 weeks of pregnancy by Dr. Wolfgang Moroder. Baby yawning by Jeuwre. Human fetus at 10 weeks.

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Learn about Kentucky’s Dismemberment Law.

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The KRLA Forum carries up-to-date pro-life news and comment. You may need to refresh this page for the latest view.

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KRLA Forum

The abortion topic weighs heavily on the hearts and minds of Kentuckians, and their legislators are mostly like-minded.

Executive Director Addia Wuchner will communicate with members and friends as needs arise for pro-lifers to call their legislators. See her latest Legislative Alert.

To watch KET coverage of some legislative hearings, go here. Then select to watch Legislature 1 or 2. To view KET featured legislative updates, go here.

If you are interested to review the steps that each bill follows on its way to becoming a law, see here.


KRLA Forum
UPDATED January 5, 2021

Keep up to date with 2021 pro-life initiatives here.


Part I of the Regular Session of the 2021 Ky General Assembly runs from January 5-8. A large portion of January will be for the purpose of accepting and reviewing drafts of bills.

Part II convenes on Feb. 2. There will be 30 legislative days and the Session ends on March 30.

Let’s be ready to recommend the bills that our pro-life legislators have already filed or will file. Please watch for the KRLA e-news, and sign up to receive it. A link to the signup form is at the top of the KRLA.org home page.

Four bills have been prefiled so far. Our thanks to Reps. Melinda Prunty, Joe Fischer, Lynn Belcher and Derek Lewis. Read their bills here, here, here and here.

Senator Whitney Westerfield promised last spring to resubmit SB9, the Born Alive bill.

As of yesterday, approximately 210 Bills have been prefiled under BR# (Bill Request). Bills will be official received and filed in their perspective Chambers and receive their official House “HB” and Senate “S” number. Top Priority for the 2021 Session will be to approve another One Year Budget. KRLA has several bills and legislation on our radar and we will communicate their official Bill numbers to you as soon as they are assigned.


KRLA Forum

A quick review of bogged-down cases:

  1. On Oct. 30, AG Daniel Cameron requested SCOTUS to review the Dismemberment Abortion law which the Appeals Court overturned last June. This law passed the Ky legislature in April of 2018. In Nebraska, a law prohibiting D&E abortion on live unborn babies went into effect last month. This means that 14 states have passed such legislation, but only four have enacted their law: Nebraska, Miss., W. Va. and Ohio. Why not Ky? Think positive and pray.
  2. On Nov. 20, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and the EMW, along with attorneys from Calif., Washington D.C., New York, and Louisville (total 13 attorneys), filed a document in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to request an En Banc hearing of the Transfer Agreements case which the Appeals Court panel upheld on October 16. The TA law passed the Ky Legislature in July of 1998. It had been ignored before Bevin took office.
  3. In the spring of 2019 Ky’s Heartbeat and No Discrimination laws passed and were quickly challenged and combined in a legal maneuver by the ACLU. Last spring Western District Judge Hale stated he would wait to hear the Appeals Court verdict on an Ohio law, Preterm-Cleveland v. Himes, which would ban abortion on Down Syndrome babies, before deciding the case. However, a Tenn. law similar to Ky’s Heartbeat/No Discrimination laws was partially upheld by the Appeals Court on Nov. 20, to ban abortions based on Down Syndrome or race. This action could affect Judge Hale’s decision. The Appeals panel did not uphold the entire Tenn. law. Ky AG Daniel Cameron led an 18-state coalition in an Amicus brief, asking the Appeals Court to uphold the entire law.

Some existing laws are also in a state of suspension. Ky’s law to require that women be made aware of the Abortion Pill Reversal method by her abortion doctor, which passed in spring 2019, is not currently enforced since a woman can order abortion pills online with only an online medical consultation. See Ruling here. It’s likely that not many women know this, or abortion statistics for the EMW would be lower. This national ruling also overrides, we assume, Ky’s law against TelMed, WebCam or “telehealth” abortions.

Ky law also requires that a physician certify that an abortion is necessary, and this doctor must also describe the basis for his/her best clinical judgment. Numerous articles state that most abortions are done for social or economic reasons.

Though ‘clinical’ once referred to medical treatment, it now only means that a person has been observed in a clinic setting.

Laws may be suspended when their criteria are blurred or prevented by societal change. Such change engenders legal challenges to good laws.

Let’s continue to insist on the rule of law and work hard for pro-life goals.


KRLA Forum

The Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, SB9, now awaits Gov. Beshear’s signature. Will it become law? It contains the HB451 mandate — see related article.

Sen. Whitney Westerfield, its sponsor, noted in an address to the House Judiciary Committee on March 11 that SB9 is not tailored to abortion but covers any child born alive in any circumstance.

In Kentucky, abortions are performed up to 22 weeks, and presently they are done by D&E or “Dismemberment”; no baby is born alive when dismembered inside the womb. In other states where abortions are performed beyond 22 weeks, a similar law could apply if an infant in a late-term abortion were delivered after growing too large to be dismembered.

SB9 will
1. Help parents whose child is born prematurely and may not receive care in some hospitals due to a policy not to treat babies under a certain age due to their prospects for survival, and
2. Help babies born with birth defects, disabilities, or who are unwanted for any reason by their parent(s), to survive by means of nourishment and medically appropriate care.

Some discussion ensued in the committee hearing. You can hear the debate here. Start the video at about 1 hour 18 min.

On the national level, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act pertains to infants who survive a late-term abortion. The bill would amend existing U.S. law enacted in 2002 which focused on defining the born-alive baby as a person: the words "person," "human being," "child," and "individual" shall include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive (as defined in this Act) at any stage of development. (official summary) . This was to address the fact that some (all?) abortion providers did not view their victims as legal persons.

The updated Act is to “prohibit a health care practitioner from failing to exercise the proper degree of care in the case of a child who survives an abortion or attempted abortion.” It was introduced by Tenn. Sen. Marsha Blackburn on Dec. 21, 2017, and passed the House but has yet to pass the Senate.

Sen. Blackburn also headed up the Select Panel on Infant Lives that investigated the scandal of selling baby body parts uncovered by David Daleiden.

The national bill also applies the existing penalties of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1111 (the federal murder statute) to anyone who performs “an overt act that kills a child born alive.” This would pertain, for example, to an abortion clinic staff person who dissects a breathing born-alive infant in order to harvest an intact liver, or to an abortionist who ends a born-alive baby’s whimpers with a sharp blow to the skull, or by snipping the spine.

Today, medical technology can keep alive an infant born as early as 19 weeks, so the 2002 Law has bearing on many current births as its language does not specify abortion as a condition of the scenario, though at the time it was understood in that construct.

Statistics show the second-trimester birth usually results in a child growing up with serious health problems. This would in part be because some hospitals lack the expertise and equipment for the early ‘preemie.’

Kentucky’s SB9 recognizes that current medical technology can keep alive second-trimester babies who may develop as healthy infants (with major assistance from medical providers), and that there are people willing to adopt these little ones if the parent(s) is/are not able to accept the responsibility.

It could encourage an initiative to focus resources in one medical center for mothers-to-be when preterm birth is anticipated.

There are many who point out that the state should not intervene in decisions that are complex and best made by physicians and parents. The Right to Life standard has consistently been “Always to care, never to kill.”

By acknowledging viability at a stage when some pre-born babies in Kentucky are aborted, we may be entering into a new legal controversy. We should never dread or fear new challenges to life issues; we do, of course, feel anxiety at the prospect of more ill-will and lawsuits.

The war to uphold the value of human life and to end elective abortion sometimes opens on a new front where terms must be redefined. ‘Viability’ has changed since 1973 when Roe v Wade referred to an obstetrics document that stated ‘attainment of fetal weight of 1000 grams or fetal age of approximately 28 weeks is widely used as the criterion of viability.’ (ref)

We applaud our pro-life legislators for passing SB9 and sending it to Gov. Beshear for his signature.