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The senate bill, known as SB152, passed overwhelmingly by a 32–4 vote. Although the Kentucky state senate has a Democrat majority, most of them voted "yes," with only four votes against.
Republican senator Whitney Westerfield sponsored the bill because of a friend who years ago had an abortion. She asked to see an ultrasound image of her baby but was refused.
Westerfield recounted, "She regrets to this day not being able to see it — knowing now, feeling certain, that had she been able to see it, had she been allowed to see it — she wouldn't have made the decision that she did."
Although the bill would mandate that the abortionist conduct the ultrasound, the woman seeking the abortion wouldn't be obligated to see it against her will. Punishment for a non-compliant abortionist would be a $100,000 fine for the first offense and $250,000 for each offense after that.
Abortion activists maintain the bill interferes with the doctor-patient relationship and disregards a woman's feelings for the procedure.
American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky representative Derek Selznick complained, "[There's] no room for a doctor to actually treat her patient as a human being. This calls for blanket statements that need to be made by the physician regardless if the woman undergoing the procedure says, 'No, I don't want to hear this.'"
SB152 is the second pro-life bill in Kentucky this year. In February, Gov. Matt Bevin signed SB4 requiring a medical consultation 24 hours before an abortion. It may be face-to-face or by video feed, but it must be live. Previously, all that was needed was for a woman to listen to a pre-recorded telephone message.
When SB4 was passed, Senate majority leader Damon Thayer said in a floor speech, "This is a momentous occasion in this body. … We have waited 12 long years for the House to agree with the Senate on pro-life language that will save the lives of the unborn. Today ... we will give voice to those who cannot speak for themselves."