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Protecting Kentucky’s Most Vulnerable

The most basic role of government is the protection of its citizens. During the early legislative session of January 2017, two bills were signed into law that ensure those protections for the most vulnerable among us, the unborn. House Bill 2 and Senate Bill 5 were signed into law following the early legislative session in January. House Bill 2, known as the "ultrasound bill," requires physicians performing abortions to provide an ultrasound to patients prior to performing the procedure. The ultrasound will allow the prospective mother to hear her baby's heartbeat and allows her the option of seeing an image of the life within her. The least we can do for prospective mothers faced with such a difficult and life-altering decision is to provide them with the best information medical science has to offer about their baby. Rep. Kimberly Moser (R-Taylor Mill) spoke about this during deliberations in the House.

"It is with accurate information that a patient can make an informed decision regarding their treatment, whether it is treatment for a brain tumor requiring an MRI or CAT scan, or if it is to determine the health and the progress of a pregnancy through an ultrasound," she said.

Senate Bill 5, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, prohibits the performance or attempted performance of an abortion on an unborn child of twenty weeks gestation or more. At twenty weeks all anatomical links needed to feel pain are present. Therefore, babies aborted at this point of gestation or later suffer terrible pain during the abortion procedure. Ending this horrific practice speaks to our basic humanity. Both of these bills received significant bipartisan support, making it clear that in Kentucky we value the sanctity of life.

The new law makes Kentucky the 16th state to enact a Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, following Ohio last month. Together, these laws potentially are saving thousands of babies' lives. There were at least 5,770 late-term abortions at or after 21 weeks of pregnancy in 2013 in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control. Another approximate 8,150 abortions took place between 18 weeks and 20 weeks.