On Thursday, the Kentucky Senate’s Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection voted to approve SB 7, a bill which would eliminate state funding for facilities that offer abortion counseling and referrals, including Planned Parenthood; and to approve SB 25, which prohibits the sale of tissue from aborted babies.
Republican state Senator Max Wise, the lead sponsor of both bills, says that “Planned Parenthood’s notorious history as an abortion provider,” particularly their role in selling organs obtained through abortions, necessitates defunding. “Until we have a pro-life president,” he added, “individual states are having to find ways to restrict the flow of public funds to this organization.”
Kentucky currently receives $5.6 million a year in Title X family planning funds, with Planned Parenthood being among the recipients. Abortion supporters have claimed that the legislation could put all such health funding in jeopardy, but Wise maintains that his bill simply prioritizes public health departments and comprehensive health clinics to receive the money, and will survive legal scrutiny by merely disqualifying abortion referrals rather than singling out Planned Parenthood by name.
Last week, Live Action News also reported that the same Senate committee passed a requirement for in-person informed consent counseling prior to abortion. All of these measures are expected to clear the full Senate. Pro-life legislation has historically been blocked in the Kentucky House, but both Democrat and Republican lawmakers believe there is greater support for pro-life reforms among the chamber’s members this session.