Senate panel hears 'born-alive' legislation

FRANKFORT – Legislation titled the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act passed a Senate committee today.

The measure, known as Senate Bill 9, would require that a child born alive – under any circumstance – be given the appropriate medical care to preserve the infant’s life, said Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Crofton, who sponsored the bill along with Senate Republican Floor Leader Damon Thayer of Georgetown. Any violation of the proposed law could result in the medical provider’s license being revoked and felony charges.

“I believe Kentucky ought to have a law that protects children born alive,” Westerfield said while testifying before the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs & Public Protection Committee. “Like many of you all, I was called here to serve in the Senate because I wanted to stand for the unborn.”

SB 9 would also formalize that any born-alive infant shall be treated as a legal person in state statutes. Another provision would ban scientific research on born-alive infants.

“A baby’s heart can be seen as soon as 22 days after conception,” Westerfield said. “Each life is human DNA that has never before existed and will never exist again.” He added that an abortion happens in the United States about once every 30 seconds, and roughly one out of four women have had an abortion.

SB 9 contains an emergency clause, meaning it would become effective immediately upon successfully making it through the legislative process rather than 90 days after adjournment. The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration