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.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less

Yesterday I was perusing comments on an Upworthy article about Joe Biden comforting the son of a Parkland shooting victim and immediately had flashbacks to the lead-up of the 2016 election. In describing former vice President Biden, some commenters were using the words "criminal," "corrupt," and "pedophile—exactly the same words people used to describe Hillary Clinton in 2016.

I remember being baffled so many people were so convinced of Clinton's evil schemes that they genuinely saw the documented serial liar and cheat that she was running against as the lesser of two evils. I mean, sure, if you believe that a career politician had spent years being paid off by powerful people and was trafficking children to suck their blood in her free time, just about anything looks like a better alternative.

But none of that was true.

It's been four years and Hillary Clinton has been found guilty of exactly none of the criminal activity she was being accused of. Trump spent every campaign rally leading chants of "Lock her up!" under the guise that she was going to go to jail after the election. He's been president for nearly four years now, and where is Clinton? Not in jail—she's comfy at home, occasionally trolling Trump on Twitter and doing podcasts.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less

Racist jokes are one of the more frustrating manifestations of racism. Jokes in general are meant to be a shared experience, a connection over a mutual sense of humor, a rush of feel-good chemicals that bond us to those around us through laughter.

So when you mix jokes with racism, the result is that racism becomes something light and fun, as opposed to the horrendous bane that it really is.

The harm done with racist humor isn't just the emotional hurt they can cause. When a group of white people shares jokes at the expense of a marginalized or oppressed racial group, the power of white supremacy is actually reinforced—not only because of the "punching down" nature of such humor, but because of the group dynamics that work in favor of maintaining the status quo.

British author and motivational speaker Paul Scanlon shared a story about interrupting a racist joke at a table of white people at an event in the U.S, and the lessons he drew from it illustrate this idea beautifully. Watch:

Keep Reading Show less
True

*Upworthy may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through links on our site.

With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

Package Free Shop has created products to help fight climate change one cotton swab at a time! Founded by Lauren Singer, otherwise known as, "the girl with the jar" (she initially went viral for fitting 8 years of all of the waste she's created in one mason jar). Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy.

Here are eight of our favorite everyday swaps:

1. Friendsheep Dryer Balls - Replace traditional dryer sheets with these dryer balls that are made without chemicals and conserve energy. Not only do these also reduce dry time by 20% but they're so cute and come in an assortment of patterns!

Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

Keep Reading Show less