Several abortion-related bills are, or are poised for, final passage in the Kentucky General Assembly tonight. The approval of one measure has already triggered an immediate response from the American Civil Liberties Union.
Despite lengthy floor debates and often emotional committee testimony, measures placing further restrictions on abortion were among the most rapidly-moving pieces of legislation in the 2019 General Assembly. Lawmakers first announced the series of bills in the opening days of the session and have since promised a "watershed year" for abortion opponents.
"Someone asked me how many of these pro-life bills are we going to pass," Republican Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer told the audience at a recent Right to Life rally. "My response: All of them."
The ACLU has also been quick to respond, tweeting after the passage of House Bill 5 banning abortion based on sex, race color, national origin, or disability, "We will see the state of Kentucky in court (again)..."
The group is also promising a challenge if the House okays Senate Bill 9, banning abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.
The ALCU has successfully sued over the state's law requiring doctors to describe ultrasound results to patients before performing an abortion and Gov. Matt Bevin's push to force the state's only remaining abortion clinic to have transfer agreements with a hospital and ambulance service.
Both of those cases are on appeal.