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.
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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.
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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.
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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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