Controversial abortion bills pass Kentucky Legislature

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FRANKFORT, Ky. — Two controversial abortion bills are one step closer to becoming law in Kentucky, with both heading to the governor’s desk for final approval after being passed by the Republican-led state legislature on Saturday.

Senate Bill 5 prohibits abortions in the state at or after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The bill would not apply in cases where an abortion is required to save the life of the mother or prevent serious risk of bodily harm to the mother, but it does not contain exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

SB5 passed the Senate on Thursday in a 30-6 vote and received final passage in the House by a vote of 79-15.

House Bill 2 requires a physician or technician to perform an ultrasound, describe and display the ultrasound images to the mother, and provide audio of the fetal heartbeat to the mother before she may have an abortion.

The text of the bill says the pregnant woman can choose to avert her eyes from the images, and request the volume of the heartbeat be turned down or off.

HB2 passed the House with a 83-12 vote and passed the Senate by a vote of 32-5.

The bills will go before Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin for final approval.