State lawmakers move forward with controversial abortion laws

BOWLING GREEN,Ky. (WBKO) -- Across the nation, emotions are high as new states move forward with legislation surrounding abortion.

Tuesday, the Alabama State Legislature passed a near total ban on abortion.

The law makes it a felony for doctors to perform an abortion, a crime that could result in 99 years in prison.

"So what you have essentially are anti-abortion politicians who have no understanding of how obstetrics and gynecology works trying to legislate what women can do with their bodies," said Heather Bailey, a WKU graduate with a certificate in Gender and Women's Studies.

In Kentucky, U.S. District Judge Joseph Mckinley ruled Friday the law banning abortions through a method known as dilation and evacuation, or d&e, is unconstitutional.

"And I would say this, too, that one of the drawbacks we have in Kentucky and almost all of the states is dealing with the organizations that are opposed to us like the ACLU who at the drop of a hat can contact a liberal judge and stop the implementation of a law that the people wanted passed," said Don Fricks, Director of the Pregnancy Support Center in Bowling Green.

This year Kentucky lawmakers passed other abortion bills including one that bans abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected and another that bans abortion for reasons of the gender, race or disability of the fetus.

"Well to me it just, for one thing, it's shocking because I can't believe we are having to go back and legislate this all again," said Bailey. "Roe v. Wade was definitive that, you know, a woman has her own rights to her own body."

The Pregnancy Support Center offers counseling for abortion, as well as does pregnancy testing and provides new or expecting mothers with baby items, such as clothing, diapers, and toiletries.

"Economically some of the young couples that come in are just single mothers, they are very appreciative of that kind of help, the tangibles," said Fricks.

Officials at the pregnancy support center say they help around 90 people every month.

Those with Governor Matt Bevin's administration disagree with the court’s decision and said they will take the case all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.

Anyone in the Bowling Green area looking for support for new or expecting mothers can contact the Pregnancy Support Center at (270) 781-5050.

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