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Kentucky Passes Ban on Abortion After 20 Weeks

Jan. 9, 2017

It's the latest state to enact abortion restrictions

Kentucky passed two new abortion restrictions over the weekend, including a ban on the procedure after 20 weeks, CNN reported.

The other bill requires women to get an ultrasound before receiving the procedure. Both bills will now go to Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, who vowed to sign both abortion bills into law on Monday. “I love them all,” he said, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. Because both bills contain an emergency clause, they will go into effect as soon as Bevin signs them into law.

The 20-week abortion ban excludes exceptions for rape and incest, but does include them in cases where the mothers life is in danger. The ultrasound bill requires physicians to perform an ultrasound and show the woman the ultrasound with the audio of the fetal heartbeat. The bill does, however, allow for women to shield their eyes from the image and request the audio be turned off.

A spokesperson for the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky said in a statement, according to CNN, that the bills “are not about women’s health.” She continued, “They represent nothing more than political intrusion in the most personal, private decisions.” The local Planned Parenthood previously said it would decide whether to challenge the bill once it has passed. The organization did not immediately respond to Motto’s request for comment.

Ingrid Duran, the director of state legislation for the National Right to Life Committee, said in a statement on the organization’s website that the 20-week ban in Kentucky “sets a tone for the 2017 session in all states: that the unborn child deserves protection.” A handful of states have already passed or are looking to pass 20-week abortion bans. Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a 20-week abortion ban, without exceptions for rape or incest, into law last month. Virginia lawmakers have proposed a similar piece of legislation, but Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe said he’d veto the bill if it passed.

[CNN]