Kentucky House OKs Sweeping, SCOTUS-Contingent Abortion Ban

Feb 15, 2019

Kentucky House lawmakers have delivered a bill to the Senate that would prompt an across-the-board abortion ban in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Rep. Stan Lee, R-Lexington, speaks on House Bill 148, an act relating to abortion, in the House on February 15, 2019.
Credit LRC Public Information

The measure hinging on a hypothetical high court decision sparked lively debate on the House floor Friday, with lawmakers again staking their ground on the highly-charged issue.

"If this issue doesn't get you right at your heart, you're not alive," Lexington Republican Stan Lee said.

Louisville Democrat Mary Lou Marzian told the body it's "attempting to tell folks what to do on personal, private medical decisions." 

The law includes an exception for the life of the mother, but not for cases of incest, rape, or fetal anomalies.

It ultimately gained passage on a 69-20 vote. If okayed in the Senate and signed by the governor, Kentucky would join four other states, which have similar “trigger” laws on the books.

House Speaker David Osborne said a legal battle isn’t anticipated because the bill would only take effect after a future Supreme Court ruling. The same can't be said for Senate Bill 9, known as the "fetal heartbeat bill." That legislation, banning abortion once a fetal hearteat is detected, cleared the Senate Thursday.