Two pro-life measures before the Kentucky General Assembly need a final push to make it over the finish line before the closing of the 2021 session, said leaders of the Catholic Conference of Kentucky.
The CCK represents the commonwealth’s four bishops in matters of public policy. The conference also educates Catholics about issues of concern to the church and encourages civic participation.
House Bill 148 would add a diagnosis of serious mental illness to the disabilities that prohibit the death penalty for individuals convicted of capital offenses. The House approved the measure in a bipartisan 76-15 vote March 1 and is awaiting action in the Senate. If it can get a vote next week and it passes, the bill then will go to Gov. Andy Beshear for his signature, the CCK said in a communication sent to Catholics March 22.
House Bill 91 aims to amend Kentucky’s constitution, clarifying there’s no right to an abortion. This bill has passed the House and is awaiting action in the Senate. If this measure makes it out of the Senate, the amendment will be on the ballot in November 2022.
Ed Harpring, coordinator of pro-life ministries for the Archdiocese of Louisville, called the measure “noteworthy” and “a step in the right direction.”
“It’s important because that will be an amendment to the (state) constitution. HB 91 is a preventative measure in the sense that it is not overturning Roe v. Wade, but if Roe v. Wade did get overturned on the federal level, this would go into place in Kentucky,” Harpring said. “We could be one of the first states to be an abortion-free zone, which would be a wonderful thing.”
But, he cautioned, “there is a lot of work to get to that point but it is a step in the right direction.”
Supporters of the bill are asked to attend a rally March 29 at 10:30 a.m. in front of the Kentucky Capitol Building facing Capitol Avenue, according to the communication from the CCK. March 29 is the day legislators return to Frankfort to complete their work.
Call 1-800-372-7181 to leave a message for your state senator and/or representative. If you are unsure who that is, an operator will be able to connect you to the right person.