ACLU statement on passage of anti-abortion bill HB 3

Forward Kentucky
Forward Kentucky

A statement by ACLU-KY Policy Strategist Jackie McGranahan


House Bill 3 is designed to push a safe and effective method of abortion care out of reach, shame and ostracize patients, and make the process of seeking and providing abortion care so difficult that patients will forgo care and providers will close their doors.

The House passage of House Bill 3 demonstrates abject ignorance of medical science and is a dangerous effort to push important reproductive healthcare out of reach for all Kentuckians, regardless of their circumstances.

Kentucky legislators have continued to use the power of the state to force people to remain pregnant against their will, and it is clear they will stop at nothing until all Kentuckians are unable to make these important decisions for themselves. No government should ever have the authority to force a person to remain pregnant against their will. These moments determine the trajectory of a person’s life and wellbeing, and decisions about them must be made by the people in them.

House Bill 3 is an extensive 60-page bill with several provisions designed to restrict access to safe and effective medication abortion care. Proponents say these restrictions are to improve safety, yet they fly in the face of healthcare provider’s and regulators’ recommendations. Abortion care is an extremely safe practice with lower complication rates than simple procedures like wisdom tooth extractions.

HB3 is so extreme it would even make it more difficult for minors who have survived violence or trafficking to seek care. HB3 would also force all people who have surgical abortion care or some people who have medication abortion care or experience a miscarriage to file a birth-death certificate. This would force their names into the public record, along with the names of the person who impregnated them (possibly a perpetrator of violence) – a gross violation of patient privacy.

Further, this bill is unclear on what patients must do when it comes to what tissue is left from medication abortion and miscarriage. This dangerous unclarity could unintentionally harm Kentuckians who have had a medication abortion or miscarriage.

We wrote to the House Standing Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection clearly outlining our concerns before they considered House Bill 3. We also testified in committee alongside a practicing Kentucky OBGYN, social workers, and a Kentuckian who sought medically necessary care. Lawmakers instead chose to listen to an out-of-state emergency physician who is running for elected office.

This poorly written bill inserts politics into medicine, aggressively sidelines science in healthcare, and threatens the wellbeing of Kentuckians. House Bill 3 has nothing to do with improving patient safety; it’s just another way for extreme Kentucky politicians to push their political agenda at the expense of their constituents’ lives.

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The editorial board of Forward Kentucky. Articles under this author name have been written, edited, and approved by a number of the contributors on this site, as well as the publisher.

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