Lawmaker Alleges Reprisal For Abortion Bill Opposition

by Rick Howlett on March 10, 2009

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh
A Louisville lawmaker believes his opposition to an abortion-related bill could be affecting the fate of his own bills in the Kentucky General Assembly.

Rep. Reginald Meeks helped defeat a measure requiring women seeking abortions to first obtain an ultrasound. The Louisville Democrat says, before the vote, he was approached by an unidentified lawmaker.

“I was told that action in one committee would depend on action in another committee,” Meeks said.

Shortly after the abortion bill died, a charitable gaming bill sponsored by Meeks was passed over in a Senate committee. Was there a connection? Absolutely not, says Republican Senator Gary Tapp, who chairs the committee.

“Nobody even mentioned to me the fact that I should hold his bill ‘til last, or hold his bill, period, because he did or did not take a vote on any legislation,” Tapp said.

The ultrasound bill died in the House Health and Welfare Committee on an 8-8 tie vote. Similar legislation died last year in the House Judiciary Committee.

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