FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – The Latest on legislation moving through the Kentucky General Assembly (all times local):
Pregnant women seeking an abortion would first have to undergo an ultrasound and listen to the fetal heartbeat under a bill that has cleared the Kentucky House of Representatives.
The proposal is one of several anti-abortion bills that have previously passed the Republican-controlled Senate only to be blocked by the Democratic majority in the House. But this year, Republicans have super majorities in both chambers, plus a Republican governor.
The bill does not include exceptions for rape or incest. The proposal would not require the woman to watch the ultrasound, and says she can request to lower the volume of the heartbeat.
The bill now goes to the Republican-controlled state Senate, where it could pass as early as Saturday.
Kentucky Senate passes 20-week abortion ban
The Kentucky Senate has passed a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The measure sailed to passage on a 30-6 vote Thursday in the Republican-led chamber. It now goes to the House, where new Speaker Jeff Hoover has predicted it will win overwhelming support.
Supporters of the bill say the proposed 20-week ban in Kentucky is based on the assertion that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks. Opponents characterize that as scientifically unsound.
Sen. Brandon Smith, the bill’s lead sponsor, says the legislation would make exceptions to the 20-week ban when the mother’s life is in danger.
Abortion opponents who had their legislation blocked for years gained the upper hand when Republicans won control of the House in last year’s elections.
Kentucky’s GOP Majority Poised to Pass First Bills Thursday
Kentucky’s new Republican majority is poised to pass a host of legislation targeting labor unions, abortion and legislator’s public pensions.
Kentucky’s Republican-controlled House and Senate are scheduled to meet Thursday afternoon to take up legislation that has cleared legislative committees. They include bills that would ban mandatory labor union membership, repeal the state’s prevailing wage law, forbid abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and release more information about lawmakers’ pension benefits.
All of the proposals have previously passed the Republican-controlled Senate, only to be blocked by the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives. But Republicans now have a super majority in both chambers, allowing them to pursue an aggressive agenda.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.