Kentucky State Capitol

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- The House Judiciary Committee passed a bill that will prohibit abortions in Kentucky if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

The committee heard arguments Wednesday both for and against House Bill 148, legislation that would result in a class D felony for anyone performing an abortion. Mothers, however, would not be held responsible under this bill.

The sponsor of HB148, Rep. Joe Fischer, called on lawmakers to support the legislation in its first step.

“If you restore our authority, we will protect every unborn child in this commonwealth,” Fischer said.

Five people, from Kentucky’s American Civil Liberties Union, a church and Planned Parenthood, testified to the committee in opposition of the bill. They argued that prohibiting abortion would result in more dangerous abortions.

“No matter what law you pass, you will not prevent abortions from happening," patient advocate Annie Prestrud said. "But you, each legislator that voted for these laws, will increase the risk to those people who choose to have an abortion."

Lawmakers in favor of the bill suggested quite the opposite in response to those comments.

“The consequences of not passing this are clearly dire to this little unborn child," Rep. Stan Lee said. "What chance does that child have? What say does that child have?”

House Bill 148 passed the House Judiciary Committee with 15 members voting "yes." It will now be brought in front of the full house but would have no impact until the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, for which there is no timeline.

“I think the people of Kentucky deserve better than a knee-jerk reaction that is based on a situation that has not happened,” said Rep. Nima Kulkarmi, explaining her "no" vote.

Fischer, believes around 70 percent of the house will still support HB 148.

“We think that this reflects the values of Kentucky, and I think it will get overwhelming support," he said. 

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