The state’s Republican-controlled House on Tuesday passed House Bill 3 in a 74-19 vote. The GOP-led Senate earlier Tuesday had voted 29 to 0 to pass the legislation and had amended the bill to include a 15-week ban, with Republicans and only one Democrat voting in support of the measure. The 72-page legislation now heads to the desk of Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear, who has not committed to supporting any of the abortion bills working their way through the state legislature. Were he to veto, the legislature would likely override him.
Earlier this month, Beshear told reporters of the bills: “We’ll review each of them.” In response to a question about abortion bills that were pending in mid-March, the governor also said that he believes “health care decisions should be between a patient and their doctor.”HB3 requires that the drugs used in a medication abortion be provided only by a qualified physician, which is someone who is licensed to practice medicine and is in good standing in Kentucky. A number of requirements must be met before dispensing drugs, including an in-person examination and informing patients about the risks of using medication abortion drugs. The drugs also cannot be sent via mail.A medication abortion, also called a medical abortion, is a nonsurgical procedure effective until about 10 weeks into a pregnancy. It involves taking the two drugs mifepristone and misoprostol one or two days apart. Women are typically given both drugs in the same visit to their doctors or at clinics.
“It shall be unlawful for any manufacturer, distributor, physician, qualified physician, pharmacy, or any other person to intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly dispense, prescribe, or distribute any abortion-inducing drug … to a pregnant person via courier, delivery, or mail service,” according to an updated copy of the bill text on the legislature’s website Wednesday.
Under the bill, the abortion drugs can’t be given to a patient without obtaining their “informed consent” at least 24 hours prior, which includes signing a document “created by the cabinet.”
The measure requires that a follow-up visit be scheduled for the patient one to two weeks after administering the drugs.
The provision requires that a consent form include information such as a “detailed list” of the risks and that it “may be possible to reverse the effects of the abortion-inducing drug if desired but that this should be done as soon as possible” — a claim that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says is “not based on science” and does “not meet clinical standards.” The bill would also require that the state government agency for health and family services publish the claim about reversing the effects of the medication abortion on its website.
HB3, according to the updated bill text on Wednesday, would mandate that the agency also set up a certification…