The General Assembly’s commitment to protecting life was once again part of our agenda during the 2021 Legislative Session. The General Assembly continued to fight and defend the most vulnerable because we value and believe in the sanctity of life. As your representative, I believe it is my duty as an elected official to be a voice for the voiceless and stand up for those who cannot speak for themselves.
Constitutional Amendment clarifying there is No Right to Abortion: One of the most important bills we passed this session was HB 91, which will allow Kentucky voters to decide next year whether to add the following words to the state constitution: “To protect human life, nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.” We are all aware of the court challenges to pro-life legislation taking place around the nation. These ongoing legal battles make this legislation imperative. I hope you will give this amendment thoughtful consideration when you see it on the ballot in November of 2022.
Empowering Kentucky’s Attorney General to Enforce Abortion Laws: Passed during the beginning days of the legislative session, HB 2 expands the role of the state’s chief law enforcement officer in enforcing statutory and regulatory requirements on abortions. Current law states that Kentucky’s Attorney General may only take action if the secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services requests it. This was a point of contention when the Governor banned elective surgeries but allowed abortion clinics to remain open.
Quality Care for Born-Alive Infants: SB 9 requires that medically appropriate and reasonable life-saving care be provided to any born-alive infant, including cases in which an attempted abortion results in a live birth. Medical providers take an oath to do no harm, and this legislation further cements in statute this ethical and moral practice.
Newborn Safety Device: I strongly believe that being pro-life also means supporting parents and children before and after birth. HB 155 legalizes the use of a newborn safety device commonly referred to as a safe haven baby box. These continuously monitored, temperature controlled boxes can be placed at a police station, fire station, or hospital. Once that newborn is placed inside, an alarm is triggered that alerts medical providers so they can immediately respond and provide care. This bill provides parents who may be desperate a safe option to save the life of their child. A similar law is on the books in Indiana, and has already been successful in saving the lives of surrendered newborns.
As you can see, the General Assembly remains committed to moving our state forward, while also upholding the values that make our state and communities unique. Being your voice in Frankfort is an honor, and I will always fight for the beliefs you hold most dear. I hope you will reach out to me about any concerns or issues.
Now that the 2021 Legislative Session is adjourned, I can still be reached through the toll-free message line in Frankfort at 1-800-372-7181 or by email at Samara.Heavrin@lrc.ky.gov. If you would like more information about any of these bills or legislative actions, you can also visit the Legislative Research Commission website at legislature.ky.gov.