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Ky. Lawmaker Includes New Abortion Restrictions In Domestic Violence Bill

Republican State Rep. Joe Fischer has amended a bill expanding domestic violence protections to include language further limiting abortions.

The amendment is in line with a national trend. Last year alone, 22 states passed 70 new provisions that introduced new restrictions to abortion access. Fischer’s initiative would ban abortions after 20 weeks, a marker after which the lawmaker says fetuses can feel pain.

Scientists have largely expressed skepticism about that claim, but Fischer maintains that abortions before that point constitute a form of “domestic violence.”

House Speaker Greg Stumbo told WUKY the connection appears tenuous.  

"I haven't looked at them that closely, but it would be my speculation that [the amendment] is probably not germane," he said Tuesday.

The U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on a similar measure out of Arizona Monday by declining to hear the case, a move that left a previous ruling that it was unconstitutional intact.

Kentucky law currently prohibits abortions after 22 weeks.

A separate bill, House Bill 184 would require a physician performing abortions to meet in person with a patient at least 24 hours before the scheduled procedure to answer patient questions about inform the patient of ultrasound imaging opportunities.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.