Politics

The “informed consent” abortion bill is heading to Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s desk, and he’s expected to sign it.

The state Senate concurred on Monday with the House’s version of the legislation, which would require women seeking an abortion to meet with a doctor 24 hours in advance of the procedure in person or over live video.

The bill, which passed the Senate 33-5, would be Bevin’s first signed into law.

Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer applauded the bill, which he says will make women think more carefully about getting an abortion.

“It is my hope and my fervent prayer that they will think twice about the action that they are about to take,” said Thayer, a Republican.

Kentucky already has an informed consent law on the books, but it allows women to have the meetings over the phone.

The Democratic-led House has for years blocked in-person informed consent bills. This year House Republicans pressured House Democratic leadership into taking a vote on the bill, which took place after many members began to warm to the issue.

The House approved the bill Friday in a 92-3 vote.

The ACLU of Kentucky on Monday urged Bevin to veto the bill.

“Instead of respecting and protecting the rights of women in the commonwealth to consult with a medical professional privately and on their own terms, lawmakers are now dictating care and medical advice from Frankfort,” said Derek Selznick, with the ACLU of Kentucky.

Selznick said it will be difficult for women in poor, remote parts of the state to find a computer with video conference capabilities, or to drive to the state’s only abortion providers in Lexington and Louisville for a 24-hour stay.

Ryland Barton is the Capitol bureau chief for Kentucky Public Radio.