Ad Spot

With no veto from governor, ‘Born Alive’ bill becomes law

The third time was the charm for a pro-life measure passed by the Kentucky General Assembly during the first week of the 2021 session.

Senate Bill 9, known as the “Born Alive” bill, won final passage by lawmakers during a rare Saturday session earlier this month.

Because Gov. Andy Beshear did not sign it and did not veto it, it automatically was enacted, 10 days after it was sent to the governor’s desk.

“Whether it’s an abortion that didn’t work, or a premature birth, or whatever the circumstance might be, if a child is born alive, it must be given medical care consistent with whatever its needs are,” said the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Crofton. “This doesn’t change the standard of care, it doesn’t establish what that care must be, because medical professionals need to make that decision where they are at that moment, under the circumstances.”

Opponents said they feared it would cause OB-GYN physicians to decline to treat patients with a risky pregnancy since they would face loss of their medical license and a possible one to five-year prison sentence, if found guilty of violating the law, a Class D felony.

Twenty-eight states have a similar law, including four of Kentucky’s neighbors: Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Tennessee.

This is the third time Westerfield has sponsored a Born Alive bill. In 2019 it cleared the Senate and a House committee, but never received a vote on the floor of the House. In 2020, the measure, which was also designated SB 9, easily won passage in both chambers but was vetoed by the governor. Since lawmakers had already adjourned the session, they were unable to take a vote to override the veto.

While most bills don’t become law until 90 days after the General Assembly adjourns, the “Born Alive” bill contained an emergency clause, so it takes effect immediately.

Dr. Todd Gray, executive director-treasurer of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, thanked legislators for pushing the bill.

“I am grateful for the work of Sen. Whitney Westerfield and our legislators to defend the life of the unborn in Kentucky,” he said. “This is one more step in the right direction of abolishing the human rights atrocity that is legalized abortion on demand in Kentucky.”

The same day lawmakers adopted the Born Alive bill, a second pro-life measure, House Bill 2, which would allow the Kentucky attorney general to pursue civil and criminal charges against abortion providers who violate state law without having to wait for certification from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, also gained final approval.

HB 2 was vetoed by Beshear, and in his veto message he wrote: “Given the divergent views on this legal medical procedure, it is also critical to have an impartial regulator.”

Lawmakers have the opportunity to take a vote that would override the veto when they return to Frankfort, Feb. 2.

News

State positivity rate down to 4.25%

Boyle County

Four arrested on drug charges following investigation

News

Burkmann donates to local Backpack Kids program

News

Ephraim McDowell Health now offering an easier way to schedule and receive a screening colonoscopy

Boyle County

New mom was ‘at the right place at the right time’ to save man’s life

News

Ephraim McDowell Auxiliaries offering scholarships

News

Napier joins Stuart Powell dealership

Boyle County

Boyle County road department cleared roads for Caretenders home care, other care organizations

News

Boyle health department taking sign-ups for Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Features

Alyssa Wray’s American Idol air date is Sunday: Perryville girl’s audition airs at 8 p.m.

Boyle County

City of Danville approves downtown master plan; Download document here

Boyle County

Library offers hands-on activities at home

Boyle County

Business licenses – February 2021

News

Guthrie supports PPE grant for Perryville Fire Department

Boyle County

News briefs, March 4, 2021

News

Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center earns chest pain accreditation

News

Ephraim McDowell Health offers health care scholarship

News

EMRMC earns Women’s Choice Award for orthopedic care

News

Ky. supports Tenn. law requiring waiting period for abortion

News

Beshear provides update on COVID-19

News

Fish fry set for Saturday

Boyle County

U-Haul trucks arrive at Old Bridge General Store Danville

Boyle County

One person injured in car crash on Hustonville Road

News

Bill to give Kentucky’s high school students a ‘do-over’ year passes senate 36-0, heads to house