Kentucky lawmakers pass strict abortion bill

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky lawmakers have given final passage to a bill that would ban most abortions in the state once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

The Republican-dominated House voted Thursday night to enact one of the country’s strictest abortion measures. The bill now goes to Kentucky’s anti-abortion governor, Republican Matt Bevin. Kentucky joins GOP-led legislatures in several other states that are moving toward enacting a so-called fetal heartbeat law.

The Kentucky measure would require anyone seeking an abortion to first determine if a fetal heartbeat is detectable. If it is, the abortion would be banned. A fetal heartbeat can be detected about six weeks into pregnancy. The measure would provide narrow exceptions for abortions, such as when the mother’s life is endangered.

Final passage of the bill puts Kentucky on another legal collision course with abortion-rights defenders, who have promised to challenge the measure in court.