Senate advances fetal heartbeat bill

FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – A bill outlawing abortions in Kentucky as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected is halfway to becoming law.

The measure passed the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection Committee on Thursday morning by a 10-2 vote Thursday morning, then was approved by the full Senate 31-6 later in the afternoon.

While some people have said that it is possible as soon as six weeks after conception, Dr. Jeanne Braemer, an OB/GYN, testified to committee detection that early is possible only with transvaginal ultrasound.

“This bill requires a trans-abdominal ultrasound, the regular transducer that just goes on their stomach,” he said. “Ten to 12 weeks is the average with that method, although it may be more for a larger woman, or a little less with a thin woman.”

Braemer also denied statements from opponents that there are no exceptions for women whose life may be in danger.

Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director, took exception to the remark that an abortion should be a decision between a woman and her doctor, calling it “laughable.”

“There is never a time when the abortion doctor goes in, sits down with the woman, and goes over risks, alternatives and benefits,” Johnson said.  “It does not happen.”

She said he just goes in and starts the procedure.

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