A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky House overwhelmingly passes selective abortion ban with 67-25 margin Tuesday


By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

The Kentucky House passed legislation that would ban an abortion if the woman seeks it because of the unborn child’s sex, race, color, national origin or disability.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Melinda Gibbons Prunty, R-Greenville, would also require the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure to revoke a physician’s license for violating the prohibition.

Rep. Melinda Gibbons Prunty, R-Greenville, talks on the House floor about her bill banning selective abortions. (Photo by Tom Latek, Kentucky Today)

“There are 15 clauses that protect the sanctity of life and civil rights,” she told her colleagues on the floor. “This bill would extend those exact same rights to the unborn, from the moment of conception. Demanding the right to extinguish or eliminate the life of an unborn child, specifically because of their gender, race or possible physical or mental disability, is reminiscent of the evil social philosophy of eugenics.”

Nancy Tate, R-Meade County, also spoke in favor of the bill. “Selective abortion, also known as designer abortion, has become more prevalent in an attempt to create the perfect child, based on an individual’s preference. An example being blonde hair and blue eyes.”

Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, opposed the bill, saying the American Civil Liberties Union will be the only one who benefits.

“Once again, this legislative body is inserting itself into the physician’s office,” she said. “This legislation has also been passed in several states and found unconstitutional. So, I guess I should be thrilled for my ACLU friends, who will be the recipient of over $100,000, I’m sure, of taxpayer dollars.”

Another opponent told the House she makes hundreds of decisions every day regarding feeding, clothing and other matters regarding her children, but the General Assembly should not take a decision on abortion out of her hands.

Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville, responded, “None of those decisions take the life of another human being. Abortion does.”

The bill passed 67-25 and now heads to the Senate.

The legislation is House Bill 5.


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