Humanity in Healthcare Legislation hits the Governor’s desk.
March 31st, 2022
Humanity in Healthcare legislation
KENTUCKY HOUSE MAJORITY CAUCUS
House Majority Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kentucky Lawmakers pass Humanity in Healthcare legislation
Frankfort, KY (March 30, 2022) – Yesterday, the Kentucky House of Representatives voted to send HB 3, one of the most significant pro-life bills in a generation, to the Governor’s desk for consideration. HB 3, referred to as the Humanity in Healthcare Act, is sponsored by Representative Nancy Tate of Brandenburg.
The bill passed in the Senate with additional pro-life provisions, including one that creates a new section of the bill that prohibits an abortion when the gestational age is 15 weeks or older
“I am very thankful that Senate leadership has added measures to this crucial piece of pro-life legislation. We currently have one of the most pro-life caucuses in Kentucky’s history, and we are working every day to protect the unborn,” said Tate
The bill includes language that addresses several aspects of abortion, including access to abortion-inducing drugs. After a December 2021 policy shift by the Food and Drug Administration, these types of drugs are now readily available through online websites with limited oversight and accountability.
“Our approach with HB 3 is grounded in not only fact, but also compassion and a genuine concern for public health. This bill would ensure that women have the information they need to make one of the most difficult decisions of their lives,” Tate said. “We’re seeing an unprecedented increase in the use of abortion-inducing drugs and know that complications can arise from taking a tablet or capsule at home without the appropriate conversations between a doctor and a patient.”
Specifically, HB 3 would require that a medical provider examine the patient in person and establish guidelines for what the examination includes. Physicians must also schedule a follow-up appointment and show reasonable efforts were made to provide follow-up care if the patient does not return. Under HB 3, those who do not inform or examine the patient prior to the abortion could be subject to a medical malpractice lawsuit. The measure also states that abortion-inducing drugs will only be provided by a qualified physician who is registered with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
The omnibus measure addresses the issue of parental consent. The bill states that attempts must be made to contact both parents of minors seeking abortions, whereas existing state law only requires the approval of one legal guardian. The amendment also prevents physicians from delegating the responsibility of acquiring parental consent to another individual. In addition, HB 3 raises the standard to acquire a judicial bypass. The measure establishes if one of the patient’s legal guardians is unable to sign off, the physician can bypass their consent with judicial concurrence. The court must consider the minor’s age, stability, credibility, demeanor, ability to assess responsibility for life-impacting consequences, the reason for needing an abortion, and the possibility of influence and pressure, as well as confirming that the pregnancy is not a result of abuse by the parent or guardian.
HB 3 also addresses how fetal remains are treated. The bill would require that parents receive notice of their right to take responsibility or relinquish their child’s remains within 24 hours of the procedure. Under Tate’s proposal, babies’ remains cannot be treated as pathological waste, disposed of as medical waste, or sold.
The bill also includes language that would prevent state dollars or federal bypass funds from being directly or indirectly used to fund abortions, essentially establishing a state version of the Hyde Amendment.
“Today marks a historic day for the pro-life movement in the Commonwealth. Not only will it protect the unborn, but it will also protect women from the rising rates of complications we are seeing with abortion-inducing drugs,” Tate said.
The bill will now go to Governor Beshear for further action. To view the full piece of legislation please visit legislature.ky.gov