Health Kentucky Politics

Dozens shared their voices Thursday in support of abortion access in Kentucky, during a virtual rally hosted by Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates. 

The Digital rally to Protect Kentucky Access included messages from elected officials, advocates, health care providers and community members. It was streamed on Facebook Live. 

The meeting comes ahead of an anti-abortion omnibus bill state Republicans are expected to introduce this session. That legislation could restrict abortion medication, allow medical providers to refuse to perform the procedure and make it harder for minors to get an abortion. 

It also comes ahead of the November election, where Kentucky residents will vote on a Constitutional amendment that could further limit abortion rights in the state. If approved, the amendment’s language reads, in part, “nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion,” WFPL previously reported. 

Democratic Kentucky Sen. Karen Berg, a doctor, was among the speakers. Like many others who participated, she said abortion access is an essential right. 

“As a woman, as a physician, as a mother, I am here to tell you that every woman has the right to make decisions about what she decides to do with her body, and that right should not be legislated,” she said. 

“This is very personal, very medical, and in many times a very religious decision that people have the right to make with their family, with their significant others, and with their physicians’ guidance.”

The omnibus abortion bill includes a number of measures including more requirements for disposing fetal tissue.

Rep. Nancy Tate, a Republican from Brandenburg and a sponsor of the bill, said the bill will not include exceptions for women seeking abortions because of rape or incest.

“If there’s a human baby that’s created from that tragedy then the life of that human baby needs to be treated with dignity and respect as well,” Tate said in October.

Aprile Rickert is WFPL's health reporter.