In Kentucky, new laws do not take effect for 90 days following the Regular Session of the Legislature, unless marked as An Emergency. SB 9, the “Born Alive” bill, took effect immediately. HB 155, the “Newborn Safety Device” bill, became law on June 29th AND the first baby box was installed at Okolona Fire Station #1 located at 8501 Preston Highway in Louisville on July 1st!
HB 91—Yes for Life— has a longer shelf life. It will be on the ballot in 2022, and Kentuckians will vote whether to amend the Ky Constitution with this text: “To protect human life, nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.” As Sponsor Joe Fischer has said, “There will be no Roe v. Wade decision in Ky. The regulation or elimination of abortion will be vested in the Ky General Assembly, not in the courts.”
HB 2, An Emergency, passed into law already, allowing the Attorney General to seek injunctive relief and civil and criminal penalties to prevent, penalize and remedy violation(s) of
- a statute relating to abortion facilities
- certain statutes relating to abortions, and
- emergency management orders relating to elective medical procedures stating that during a state of emergency abortion is deemed to be an emergent or urgent medical procedure.
However, Senate Bills 1 and 2 that limit the Governor’s powers in managing emergencies, were served injunctions by Gov. Beshear right after they passed and now are under litigation in the Ky Supreme Court (along with House Bill 1 and House Joint Resolution 77, also relating to emergency executive orders).
SB 1 and 2 affect HB 2. That is why abortion continued to be viewed as an emergency procedure even after these bills passed both House and Senate, and even though their vetoes were overridden.
The Supreme Court ruling should be issued soon. We expect the Ky Legislature’s amendments to be upheld and will report on this case in a future e-letter. We commend Chad Meredith for a masterful job of arguing this case on behalf of AG Cameron.
As important as the Law IS, when we consider that we are still looking for a response from EMW and Planned Parenthood in regard to the Transfer Agreements LAW that was UPHELD by the Appeals Court LAST NOVEMBER, and a ruling on the 2019 Heartbeat and No-discrimination LAWS from the District Court ever since spring 2020, we realize the great importance of working to change hearts.
Laws can save lives, but the heart is where the action is.