Kentucky State Senator Matt Castlen (R-Owensboro) was given the “Friend of Life” Award by the Commonwealth Policy Center (CPC) Thursday for sponsoring the Fetal Heartbeat Bill in the 2019 General Assembly session.
The Fetal Heartbeat Bill bans abortions in Kentucky after a heartbeat is detected – usually about six weeks into pregnancy.
“We agree with Senator Castlen that a heartbeat is an indication of life, and once a human heartbeat is detected, that life deserves protection,” said CPC Executive Director Richard Nelson in a ceremony at the Right to Life of Owensboro office. “We thank you for truly being a champion of life. Kentucky is a safer place for unborn life.”
“It’s exciting to get an award,” Castlen said. “It goes back to the community who supports life. To God be the glory.”
“We could not do this without you, Senator Castlen,” said Stacey Davis, Executive Director of Right to Life Owensboro. “We’re fighting and we’re winning.”
The Friend of Life Award reads, “In appreciation for your dedication and service to restore the sanctity of life in the Commonwealth of Kentucky by sponsoring SB 9—The Fetal Heartbeat Bill in the 2019 General Assembly session. We thank you for your service to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Future generations are indebted to you.”
“It is a proud day in Kentucky,” Castlen said. “There are so many legislators … that stand for life. It’s a remarkable thing happening in Kentucky.”
The Kentucky General Assembly passed four pro-life bills during the 2019 session: the Roe v Wade Trigger Bill (HB 148), the Fetal Heartbeat Bill (SB 9), the Abortion Pill Reversal bill (HB 50), and the Human Rights of the Unborn Act (HB 5).
“Kentucky is one of the top pro-life states in the nation right now,” Nelson said.
The CPC is a nonprofit public policy organization that works to strengthen their values of life, marriage, religious liberty and fiscal responsibility. The organization also gave Friend of Life awards Thursday to Rep. Melinda Prunty (15th district) and Rep. Robby Mills (11th district) for their roles in sponsoring HB 5 and HB 148.
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed lawsuits claiming SB 9 and HB 5 are unconstitutional. A federal judge has suspended the laws until a final ruling is made, a process which could take months.
CPC Board President Jordan Tong said love is an important element as his organization and others fight for life. “This message is not just about political victory, but about loving others – not just the unborn, but people we disagree with,” he said.
“We need to continue to press forward and do it in love,” Nelson said. “Owensboro is a pro-life community. We’re thankful that Senator Castlen is moving Kentucky in a compassionate and humane direction by protecting the most vulnerable among us.”