OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) The question on people’s minds after this morning’s ruling came down is what does it mean for the state where they live?
The Supreme Court’s ruling means that trigger laws prohibiting abortions in several states, including Kentucky, now become law. Other states are calling for special sessions relating to their respective laws.
In Kentucky, a House bill passed in 2019, which prohibits abortion if Roe V. Wade was overturned, is now state law. State Representative Melinda Gibbons Prunty, R-Muhlenberg County, says it changes the state’s law back to what it was before the Roe decision in 1972. The law does allow for exceptions if the mother’s health is at risk, but not in case of rape or incest.
“A physician can do an abortion if he feels it’s medically necessary to save her life. It’s a class D felony if they do otherwise. There is no penalty for the mother,” she said.
In Illinois, the ruling doesn’t change access to abortion. Lawmakers repealed a trigger law reinstating a ban in 2017. Governor J.B. Pritzker is calling the general assembly into special session in a few weeks over this ruling.
“We stand with you,” he said. “We will raise our voices we will open our arms to help you and we will protect your rights.”
In Indiana, House and Senate Republicans wrote a letter to Gov. Eric Holcomb, calling for a special session, adding they have a responsibility to Hoosiers to make sure the state’s laws align with the Supreme Court’s decision. But Mary Ellen Van Dyke of Right to Life Of Southwest Indiana says the state’s constitution prohibits trigger laws similar to those in other states.
“We, in the pro-life movement, had to wait until the decision on Dobbs came down, that overcame Roe V. Wade before we can make sure abortion is ended in Indiana,” she said.
Back in Kentucky, a proposed constitutional amendment is on the ballot this November that if passed, would add that nothing in the constitution would require a right to, or create state funding for an abortion.
(This story was originally published on June 24, 2022)