FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ)- Just a few days into the general assembly session and two controversial bills concerning abortion are both expected to get a final vote Saturday during a rare weekend session. Supporters of the bills say they will promote health and safety. Opponents say that is an excuse republicans are using when they are really trying to keep women from getting abortions.
An opponent compares one of the bills to a failed law in North Carolina that was struck down in federal court. She says she does not want to see the state waste millions in tax dollars defending a law that she says is likely to end up with the same fate.
Rita Thompson says she and her colleagues at the Not Alone Pregnancy Center in Georgetown help families from before birth through the early years of a child’s life.
“We don’t want to just get them here. We want to take care of them after they are here,” Thompson said.
Making sure the babies do get here is a big goal, though. Thompson is pro-life and thrilled about the two abortion bills currently under consideration at the Capitol.
“I am so proud of the people in Frankfort that is trying to make a difference,” Thompson said.
That difference would come in two new proposed laws. HB two would require pregnant women to undergo an ultrasound before getting an abortion.
“Once they go in there and they see the image, they hear the heartbeat, it makes them stop and pause,” Thompson said.
SB Five would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
“It just breaks my heart that you’re willing to carry the baby nine months and then decide you don’t want it. So yes, it’s a start,” Thompson said.
Those who are pro-choice disagree, saying a woman should not be forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term.
“There are a lot of women who don’t find out their fetus is not viable until 20 weeks or later,” Chloe Atwater, a senior at UK, said.
Atwater observed some of the debate around the bills Thursday at the state house. She says an abortion ban after 20 weeks is not realistic because it takes some women that long to find the money for the procedure, or even to realize they are pregnant.
“These are huge ramifications and they’re not being thought through,” Atwater said.
While pro-life supporters like Thompson say these new laws will help provide women with more information, Atwater disagrees.
“This is not about information. It’s absolutely about preventing women from having abortions,” Atwater said.
Interestingly, Atwater says she was disapointed after the session Thursday because she feels many democrats’ votes did not match the party’s platform. She says she has worked hard campaigning for several of those people and she is upset they are putting what she calls re-election concerns over working to be a strong super-minority.