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Fact Check-Kentucky Democratic state senator proposed satirical amendment in 2019 on women notifying state of pregnancies

Users have been sharing a screenshot of a proposed amendment with claims that Kentucky passed a bill in June 2022 that would necessitate women of childbearing age to notify the state monthly with a signed statement from a medical professional as to whether they are pregnant. Although an amendment to that effect was introduced in 2019, it was proposed by a Democratic state senator and intended as satire in response to a bill that restricted abortion rights in the state.

A section of the text has been circulating on social media that originated from the 2019 amendment that reads: “All women who are Kentucky residents, and of child bearing [sic] age, shall acquire a signed and notarized statement from a practitioner licensed pursuant to this chapter each month that states whether she is pregnant or not pregnant. If pregnant, the signed and notarized statement shall provide the status of the pregnancy.”

The proposed amendment further stated that if a woman were to be found pregnant by the medical professional, they would have to wear an ankle brace to ensure that they did not cross state lines to get an abortion.

Users shared the screenshot of the proposed amendment in late June 2022 and claimed that the Kentucky House had passed a bill with the aforementioned amendment after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, the landmark 1973 ruling that recognized a woman’s right to abortion nationwide (here).

One user who shared a screenshot on Twitter said: “End of times is happening. Buckle up ladies, it’s past time for another revolution” (here).

Another said: “So apparently this is making the rounds. Apparently it's a draft of a law that some are taking under consideration in KY. Roe was only the beginning” (here).

Other examples of the claim shared on social media can be seen (here), (here), (here).

Although the amendment was indeed filed, it did not pass through the Kentucky state House (here). It was also filed by a Democrat in 2019, long before Roe v. Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The proposed amendment was not a serious proposal, and instead was indented as satirical response to a bill that aimed to restrict access to abortion, the state senator who proposed the amendment at the time, state Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, told Reuters.

Marzian told Reuters that she is pro-choice, and that she filed the amendment, “in response to the horrid anti-choice bill filed by Rep. Joe Fischer,” Marzian added.

Local news outlets covered the proposed amendment in February 2019, including Spectrum News 1 and the Louisville Courier Journal (here), (here).

The bill (HB148) Marzian referred to aimed to restrict abortion rights in Kentucky if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned, and known as a “trigger law” (here).

Kentucky HB148 was passed in March 2019, with no such amendment viewable in the final copy of the bill (here), (here), (here).

Marzian also proposed a satirical bill (HB396) in 2016 that would require men seeking drugs for erectile dysfunction to visit a doctor twice, get a note from their wives and swear on the Bible and promise to be faithful in their marriages (here), (here).

The state senator introduced the bill days after Republican Governor Matt Bevin signed an informed consent law that requires women to consult with a doctor before having an abortion (here).

HB396 was also covered by numerous outlets including the Louisville Courier Journal, The Guardian and MNSBC (here), (here), (here).

There are 12 other U.S. states that have similar “trigger laws” that are designed to heavily restrict or ban abortion following the Court’s reversal, including Texas, Utah and Wyoming (here).

On June 27, battles over access to abortion shifted to state courts, as judges blocked statewide bans in Louisiana and Utah and clinics in Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi and Texas sued seeking similar relief (here).

VERDICT

Missing context. Kentucky did not introduce an amendment that would require women in the state to notify the state monthly, with a certificate provided by a medial professional, on whether they are pregnant. A proposed amendment to that effect was introduced in 2019 and intended as satire, in protest of a bill.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .

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