A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Bevin signs all seven bills passed during first week of 2017 legislative session; all in effect immediately

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Gov. Matt Bevin has signed into law seven historic bills sent to his desk by the Kentucky General Assembly, following a record-setting first week of work in Frankfort.

The legislation includes transformative measures protecting the lives of unborn children, positioning the Commonwealth for economic growth, strengthening the University of Louisville’s governing structure and establishing a new era of transparency for public servants.

“This is truly a new day in Kentucky, as our General Assembly has worked in an unprecedented manner to advance the people’s business,” said Bevin. “It is an honor for me to sign into law these historic pieces of legislation that protect our most vulnerable, guarantee important freedoms for workers and set our Commonwealth on a course for unparalleled opportunity and prosperity.”

Gov. Matt Bevin has signed into law seven historic bills sent to his desk by the Kentucky General Assembly, following a record-setting first week of work in Frankfort (Photo Provided)

Gov. Matt Bevin has signed into law seven historic bills sent to his desk by the Kentucky General Assembly, following a record-setting first week of work in Frankfort (Photo Provided)

Pro-life legislation includes Senate Bill 5 (protecting children after 20 weeks of gestation) and House Bill 2 (requiring an ultrasound before a pregnancy is terminated).

Pro-business measures include House Bill 1 (providing right-to-work guarantees to all Kentucky workers), Senate Bill 6 (paycheck protection for employees of labor organizations) and House Bill 3 (repealing prevailing wage requirements for public works projects).

Senate Bill 12 authorizes a fresh start for the University of Louisville board of trustees, and Senate Bill 3 opens state legislator pensions to public scrutiny for the first time.

All of these laws contain emergency clauses and thus, take effect immediately.

The Ultrasound Informed Consent Act, as passed by the Kentucky General Assembly, was signed by Bevin and became effective on Monday. This bill requires a signed form before a patient can have an abortion.

The link to the form is here: http://chfs.ky.gov/NR/rdonlyres/246DB74A-7FAA-4C73-A971-BC2EA7C8FA4A/0/HB2form.pdf.

For more information on House Bill 2 use this link: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/17RS/HB2.htm.

Also Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a legal challenge to block a Kentucky abortion restriction, H.B. 2, that was rushed through the state legislature just days into the new session. The law requires doctors to display, and narrate in detail, an ultrasound to a woman prior to providing an abortion procedure, even if the woman objects and even if the doctor believes that it will harm the patient.

“Requiring doctors to show every woman ultrasound images and describe them to her — even against her will— violates longstanding constitutional principles, including the right to privacy, the right to bodily integrity, and First Amendment freedoms,” said William Sharp, Legal Director of the ACLU of Kentucky.

The law requires that the doctor show and narrate ultrasound images even if the woman averts her eyes or asks the doctor to stop. According to expert testimony presented in the lawsuit, the law violates basic principles of medical ethics and of informed consent by compelling doctors to dismiss patient’s objections.

Notably, the law provides no exception for circumstances where the doctor believes the ultrasound will have a traumatic effect on patients, including for women who became pregnant as a result of rape or incest or who face a medical condition or a fetal anomaly.

From Governor’s Office, ACLU Communications

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