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Over the course of the historic first week of the 2017 Regular Session two bills were passed that aimed to give greater information to women seeking an abortion and to restrict when abortion should be available because the unborn child can feel pain from the procedure.

House Bill 2 – The Ultrasound Informed Consent Act

HB2 require an ultrasound be performed prior to an abortion so that the mother can be fully informed about the procedure and the life she carries before making the decision to choose abortion.

Senate Bill 5 – Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

SB5 prohibits abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, except in cases of medical emergencies, because the babies can feel pain.

Both bills contained emergency clauses, making them take legal effect immediately upon the Governor's signature.  The ACLU promptly sued the Commonwealth over HB2 (ultrasound) on the grounds the bill is unconstitutional.  I disagree.

Unfortunately, the duty of defending the law falls on the shoulders of an attorney general I have little faith will actually work hard to defend the law's constitutionality.  And General Beshear removed all doubt with the following press statement on the matter:

As attorney general, it is my duty to enforce the Constitution. It is also my duty to defend laws where the constitutionality is questionable and finality is needed. Adhering to these duties is why, after close review, my office will defend the agencies sued over House Bill 2 that seek our representation. Whether a mandatory ultrasound and explanation is constitutional has split the two federal appellate circuits that have directly addressed it. The Sixth Circuit that includes Kentucky, has not rendered a decision. I will advise that this matter has risks and potential costs, which resulted in over $1 million in legal fees to North Carolina, which lost its defense. Conversely, my office will not represent the state on any challenge to Senate Bill 5, the 20-week ban. This law is clearly unconstitutional based on our review of numerous federal appellate rulings, which state that identical statutes in other jurisdictions are illegal under numerous Supreme Court decisions. While these decisions may not please advocates on either side, my duty is to the law.

Given the AG's lukewarm support for legislation protecting human life, passed by an overwhelming bipartisan number of legislators representing the vast majority of the people of the Commonwealth, I joined with the House Judiciary Chair, Hon. Joseph Fischer; the Speaker of the House, Hon. Jeff Hoover; and the President of the Senate, Hon. Robert Stivers, in filing an amicus brief in support of HB2.

You can view the brief and other court filings right here:

Note the detail and passion of the General's response to the ACLU's motion for the temporary restraining order to temporarily stop the ultrasound requirement.  Spoiler Alert: "...the Attorney General does not take a position on the Plaintiffs' Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order." 

Here's the ACLU lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of HB2 if you care to read it:

Sen. Westerfield Appointed to National Cybersecurity Task Force

Sen. Westerfield Appointed to National Cybersecurity Task Force

For Immediate Release
Contact: John Cox


FRANKFORT, Ky. (August 2, 2016) – Senate President Robert Stivers (R-Manchester) announced the appointment of Senator Whitney Westerfield (R-Hopkinsville) to  the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) Task Force on Cyber Security

“I cannot think of anyone better suited to represent Kentucky on this task force than Senator Westerfield,” said President Stivers. “He has shown a deep understanding of the issues facing the Senate Judiciary Committee, and he is a perfect fit to lead Kentucky’s fight in the virtual realm.”

The Task Force on Cybersecurity’s mission is “to engage members in policy discussions, educate members and extend networking opportunities to legislative leaders on cybersecurity issues through a series of well-defined programs, webinars on key definitions and critical cyber policy issues as well as supporting private-public networks.”

Senator Westerfield, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, thanked President Stivers and NCSL for the appointment. “In our highly-digital world, the threat to Kentuckians and the rest of the country is rapidly changing.  We must be prepared to combat the digital threats that impact not only retailers and service providers that call Kentucky home, but also our children and senior citizens who are targeted by predators and scams" said Senator Westerfield. “I look forward to working with many talented men and women from across the United States on this task force, and I hope our work will make a difference in keeping our Commonwealth—and nation—safe.

The National Conference of State Legislatures was established in 1975 and is a bipartisan, non-governmental organization dedicated to the success of state legislatures. NCSL has three main objectives: improve the quality and effectiveness of state legislatures; promote policy innovation and communication among state legislatures; and ensure state legislatures have a strong, cohesive voice in the federal system.