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Kentucky lawmaker tells women unplanned pregnancies are an 'opportunity'

Dr. Elizabeth Yuko is the Health Editor at SheKnows. She is a bioethicist and writer specializing in sexual and reproductive health and the intersection of bioethics and popular culture. She is an adjunct professor of ethics at Fordham ...

Women should 'embrace' unplanned pregnancies, according to Kentucky Republican

A Kentucky Republican legislator has instructed women to embrace their pregnancies — whether or not they are planned.

“[Unplanned pregnancy] should not be looked at as an inconvenience, but rather, I would submit, as an opportunity,” state Sen. Brandon Smith said while commenting on Senate Bill 5, which bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

More: Ohio may adopt the most restrictive abortion law in the country

SB 5 — similar to the recent legislation signed into law in neighboring Ohio — passed by a 36 to 6 vote in the Kentucky Senate. Meanwhile, the Kentucky House voted 82 to 13 for House Bill 2, which requires doctors to perform an ultrasound on any women seeking an abortion.

More: 3 things you need to know about Ohio's new abortion law

This immediate focus on restricting women’s reproductive health access comes as a surprise to no one, despite the fact that Republican lawmakers insisted they would focus on jobs and Kentucky’s economy in 2017.

More: No, Republicans: Defunding Planned Parenthood will definitely not save money

Democratic lawmakers in Kentucky objected to SB 5, clarifying that the state should not be permitted to force a woman to carry her pregnancy to term, regardless of whether or not she’s a victim or incest or rape or is otherwise prepared to have a baby.

“Really, how women deal with that is between women, their families and their god,” said Sen. Reginald Thomas, D-Lexington, told the Lexington Herald Leader. He predicted that passing this bill will force women into “back-alley butcher shops” by making legal abortions difficult to obtain.

The strategy of stripping women’s access to abortion and other health care has been a trend among Republicans so far in 2017 — not a great sign considering we’re less than two weeks in.

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