‘Multifaceted’ abortion legislation being proposed for 2022 session

Published 5:05 pm Friday, October 22, 2021

By Tessa Redmond

FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Rep. Nancy Tate, R-Brandenburg, said abortion is “one of the realities that we need to address in our commonwealth of Kentucky” during her presentation of a pro-life omnibus bill before a legislative panel on Wednesday.

The Interim Joint Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection Committee heard discussion related to the Humanity in Healthcare Act, proposed legislation that could be considered by the General Assembly in the 2022 regular session.

The bill would address several broad categories, including abortion on minors, chemical abortions, disposal of fetal remains, public funding of pregnancy termination, complications from abortion procedures and medical conscience.

Former Rep. Addia Wuchner, a registered nurse and current executive director of Kentucky Right to Life, called the bill “multifaceted.”

“Reflected in this piece of legislation is good healthcare (and) good medicine, addressing many areas,” Wuchner said.

The bill would amend current Department of Public Health reporting requirements to facilitate more detailed and accurate data tracking of the distribution of abortion medications, the performance of abortions on minors, the disposal of fetal remains and abortion-related health complications.

“The suggestion is, obviously, that we add some additional information for the Vital Statistics (Branch) and that we grant the Office of Inspector General oversight for the abortion reporting” so that the data could be reviewed for violations,” Tate said.

The data would also be submitted to the Interim Joint Committee of Health, Welfare and Family Services.

In further efforts to monitor the occurrence of abortions in the state, Tate recommended that The Kentucky Board of Pharmacy create the Kentucky Abortion-Inducing Drug Certification Program. It would require distributors, manufacturers, and physicians to obtain program certification before handling abortion medications.

“We’re working with the Board of Pharmacy to ensure they can do that, and what they would need to do in order to be able to provide that information,” Tate said. “The certification would also require that the physician have admitting privileges.”

A large part of the bill would also introduce new regulations for the handling of fetal remains after abortions, including prohibitions on the sale of fetal remains and the use of a birth/death certificate or stillborn certificate to report abortions after 20 weeks gestation.

Wuchner said the bill would ensure “that (fetal remains) not be treated as medical waste or medical byproducts, but respectfully here in the commonwealth.”

The Humanity in Healthcare Act has not yet been filed ahead of the 2022 legislative session.