Kentucky just passed a major abortion ban. Here's how that could affect you.

Kentucky Legislature just became one more in a growing line of states to pass a strict abortion ban.

Last night, the Kentucky state House passed a bill that would ban abortions after six weeks, otherwise known as a "heartbeat bill." What that means is any medical practitioner offering abortions would first have to check for a heartbeat, and if one is detected, they would not be legally allowed to perform an abortion.

As of now, there are only a few exceptions to the ban, for example, if the mother's life is in danger, but if someone is seeking an abortion because of a fetal diagnosis, the ban would stand.


The bill has now been sent to the Republican Governor Matt Bevin who will almost certainly sign it.

Kentucky State Capitol. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

This so-called "heartbeat bill," is one of many that've been passed across the country in recent years.

Ohio was one of the first states to try and pass the bill back in 2011, and it's since been followed by states like Arkansas, Utah, Tennessee, Mississippi, Colorado, South Dakota and Louisiana. Similar bills have been considered by many more.

While bills of this nature are regularly being shut down in court because they're unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade, anti-abortion lawmakers aren't pushing them through for kicks — there's a strategy behind these mounting legislations across the country.

According to the ACLU, who immediately filed a lawsuit against Kentucky's abortion ban before it even reached Governor Bevin's desk, these bills are being introduced to get a court case in front of a now conservative-leaning Supreme Court. The hope appears to be to undermine the 40 year-old law that protects a person's right to an abortion at its epicenter, thereby making abortion access extremely difficult nationwide.

However, pro-choice organizations, like the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, are fighting these measures, and winning, in court. If you support reproductive rights, they need your help to keep it up.

It's easy to feel powerless when government institutions pass sweeping bans like this, but there's a lot you can do as an average citizen to make a difference.

  • Support local and national reproductive rights advocacy groups.

You can also support groups that specifically make abortions more accessible, like the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF).

  • Tell your abortion story on public platforms.

There's a reason the #MeToo movement has been so successful in bring sexual abusers to justice — there's power in numbers. It's may not be easy, but if you share your story on hashtags like #shoutyourabortion, you'll be in the company of so many other women hoping to normalize a human right.

  • Call your legislators

Even if you live in a state that supports a person's reproductive rights, calling and making your feelings on abortion clear can help give your legislators ammunition to fight any abortion cases that take the national stage.

  • Run for office and VOTE!

Look what happened when the people in this country got angry about our rights being threatened. We got a record number of women seated in the House of Representatives.  We got the first openly transgender person elected to a United States statehouse.

We have the power to change things in the country, even in the direst of circumstances. All it takes is passion, a little effort, and the continued belief that we deserve better.

More


Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature

As a child, Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia's parents didn't ask her what she wanted to be when she grew up. Instead, her father would ask, "Are you going to be a doctor? Are you going to be an engineer? Or are you going to be an entrepreneur?"

Little did he know that she would successfully become all three: an award-winning biomedical and mechanical engineer who performs cutting-edge medical research and has started multiple companies.

Bhatia holds an M.D. from Harvard University, an M.S. in mechanical engineering from MIT, and a PhD in biomedical engineering from MIT. Bhatia, a Wilson professor of engineering at MIT, is currently serving as director of the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine, where she's working on nanotechnology targeting enzymes in cancer cells. This would allow cancer screenings to be done with a simple urine test.

Bhatia owes much of her impressive career to her family. Her parents were refugees who met in graduate school in India; in fact, she says her mom was the first woman to earn an MBA in the country. The couple immigrated to the U.S. in the 1960s, started a family, and worked hard to give their two daughters the best opportunities.

"They made enormous sacrifices to pick a town with great public schools and really push us to excel the whole way," Bhatia says. "They really believed in us, but they expected excellence. The story I like to tell about my dad is like, if you brought home a 96 on a math test, the response would be, 'What'd you get wrong?'"

Keep Reading Show less
Packard Foundation
True

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Amy Johnson

The first day of school can be both exciting and scary at the same time — especially if it's your first day ever, as was the case for a nervous four-year-old in Wisconsin. But with a little help from a kind bus driver, he was able to get over his fear.

Axel was "super excited" waiting for the bus in Augusta with his mom, Amy Johnson, until it came time to actually get on.

"He was all smiles when he saw me around the corner and I started to slow down and that's when you could see his face start to change," his bus driver, Isabel "Izzy" Lane, told WEAU.

The scared boy wouldn't get on the bus without help from his mom, so she picked him up and carried him aboard, trying to give him a pep talk.

"He started to cling to me and I told him, 'Buddy, you got this and will have so much fun!'" Johnson told Fox 7.

Keep Reading Show less
Most Shared