- Associated Press
Tuesday, March 10, 2020

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A proposed ballot measure aimed at amending Kentucky’s Constitution to ensure it doesn’t offer protections for abortion rights won approval from the state House on Tuesday.

It was among two abortion-related measures that cleared the Republican-led House after emotional debates. The other bill would expand the state attorney general’s authority to enforce abortion law.

The proposed ballot measure would add language to Kentucky’s Constitution to state it provides no constitutional right to an abortion. The proposal is a preemptive step if the Roe v. Wade decision establishing abortion rights nationwide decades ago is overturned, supporters said.

If that happens, it would put Kentucky in a position to “finally end the legal slaughter of unborn children” in the state, said Republican Rep. Joe Fischer, the proposal’s lead sponsor.

Opponents said the measure fails to offer exceptions to an abortion ban in cases of rape or incest.

The long, emotional debate included some opponents reading the testimony of abortion-rights supporters. It stemmed from a recent committee hearing when their testimony was cut off before all of them had a chance to speak out against the measure.

The proposed ballot measure cleared the House 71-21 and now goes to the Senate.

The other bill would expand the power of the attorney general to regulate abortion facilities. It passed 70-23 and goes to the Senate.

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