FRANKFORT, Ky. – Legislation that would require women seeking abortions to have face-to-face meetings or real-time video consultations with their physicians has been delivered to Gov. Matt Bevin who signed it immediately.
Sen. Julie Raque Adams, the Louisville Republican who sponsored the bill, personally handed the bill to Bevin on Tuesday, a day after the Senate gave it final passage.
Shortly afterward, the Senate passed another abortion-related bill that calls for the defunding of Planned Parenthood, a organization that is a leading provider of abortions nationally.
That measure passed the Senate 33-5, and now moves to the House for consideration.
Bevin had previously said he would sign the so-called "informed consent" measure, which requires the consultations between women and physicians be done at least 24 hours before scheduled abortions.
The bill has had widespread support from religious groups, including the 750,000-member Kentucky Baptist Convention.
Paul Chitwood, executive director of that group, said he’s hopeful women seeking abortions might change their minds after physicians answer their questions about the development of unborn babies.
“Information is vital in all decision-making, and providing women with information about the little child inside them would most certainly cause many to rethink their decisions to have abortions,” he said.
Kentucky law has required women to meet with a doctor before having an abortion since 1998. But many doctors have used a loophole to provide information to women via a pre-recorded telephone message.
The legislation Bevin signed plugs that loophole.
When senators returned from the governor's office, they voted 33-5 to pass a bill that would prevent Planned Parenthood from receiving any state funding.
Planned Parenthood currently receives no state funding, and Senate President Robert Stivers said the bill would ensure that remains the case.