Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

Exactly 941 bills were introduced in the state legislature during the 2016 session but none were as important as those protecting life and religious liberty championed by the state Senate. The Senate passed five bills elevating and protecting the sanctity of human life. They also passed three bills protecting conscience rights and religious liberty. Unfortunately all but one of the eight bills died in the House.

During his weekly radio program, CPC Executive Director Richard Nelson asked State Senate Judiciary Chairman Whitney Westerfield (R-Hopkinsville) what it would take to get such legislation passed. He tersely responded "flip the House." In other words, Westerfield insisted that if we want pro-life, pro-religious freedom laws enacted, it will take conservative Republicans to win a majority of House seats.

2016 Pro-life Legislation:
SB 4 – Requires abortionist to meet with patient in person or through live video conference prior to performing an abortion –
Passed Senate 32-5 (1-19-16) Passed House 92-3 (1-28-16)  SIGNED INTO LAW by Gov. Bevin (2-2-16)
SB 7 – Bans state funds for Planned Parenthood – Passed Senate 33-5 (2-2-16) DIED IN HOUSE
SB 25 – Bans sale of aborted baby body parts – Passed Senate 36-2 (1-27-16) DIED IN HOUSE
SB 152 –  Requires abortionists to provide ultrasound to their patients – Passed Senate 32-4 (2-29-16) DIED IN HOUSE
SB 212 – Abortion Clinic Regulations – Passed Senate 32-5 (3-9-16) DIED IN HOUSE

2016 Conscience Protections and Religious Freedom Legislation:
SB 5 -Removes county clerk's name from marriage licenses – Passed Senate 30-8 (2-18-16) STALLED IN HOUSE
SB 15 – Protects students' religious freedom in public schools – Passed Senate 34-2 (2-4-16) DIED IN HOUSE
SB 180 – Religious freedom and conscience protection for business owners – Passed Senate  22-15 (3-15-16) STALLED IN HOUSE