FFRF denounces Kentucky abortion ban

Bans off our Bodies
The Freedom From Religion Foundation condemns the Kentucky Legislature for overriding a veto and making Kentucky the first U.S. state without legal abortion access since Roe v. Wade.  

Yesterday, on April 13, while protesters chanted “Bans off our bodies now,” Kentucky lawmakers cavalierly and easily overrode Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto of  House Bill 3. The law not only bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy as well as the mailing of abortion pills, but also mandates the creation of a new monitoring system for abortion clinics that effectively makes it impossible for abortion clinics to operate. Additionally, the law raises more barriers for minors seeking an abortion and requires the state to publicly publish names and addresses of physicians who perform abortions.  It also calls for filing of “birth-death certificates” for each abortion that includes major details about the person undergoing the abortion and the sexual partner.

As Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates of Kentucky and Indiana’s Nicole Erwin explained, the bill “does not make abortion illegal, but because of the laundry list of restrictions . . . abortion providers will not be able to comply.” Planned Parenthood noted that providers are expected to register with a program that doesn’t even exist and fill out paperwork that has yet to be drafted.  The state’s two clinics are immediately filing suit in federal court.

We need secular voices to mobilize at this critical time. Kentucky has joined the states of Oklahoma and Florida in passing an anti-abortion bans this week itself. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis just signed, as promised, a 15-week abortion ban into law, and Oklahoma Gov. Ken Stitt signed a ban on all abortion care, except for the rarest of exceptions, on Tuesday. 

Beshear, in correctly vetoing the Kentucky bill, noted the electronic monitoring system and other requirements would cost the state close to $1 million, even though the bill included no funding provision. Republicans who drafted the bill admitted that it was written with hopes that Roe v. Wade would be overturned. Kentucky previously passed a trigger law that would immediately ban abortion if Roe is overturned.

This ban is purely based on religious ideology — not science. The Food and Drug Administration has declared that abortion pills via mail is safe and, yet, Kentucky lawmakers are restricting this access. Additionally, the burdensome barriers on the clinics related to certification and monitoring have nothing to do with health and safety, but are rather designed to shame people who seek abortion care. One in four women will have an abortion by the time they are 45 years old. (This statistic doesn’t include trans and nonbinary people who also need abortions.) Simply put, abortion is a common medical procedure and should not be stigmatized. 

“We are facing a tsunami of anti-abortion bans and assaults that is threatening to deny hundreds of millions of Americans access to safe, legal abortion care,” says Annie Laurie Gaylor. “This is a punitive religious war against women’s rights and reproductive liberty.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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