Kentucky lawmakers pass abortion discrimination ban; ACLU will sue

FRANKFORT, February 20 -- Sen. Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester, speaks about a report released...
FRANKFORT, February 20 -- Sen. Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester, speaks about a report released yesterday titled “Medicaid Pharmacy Pricing: Opening the Black Box” dealing with Medicaid and pharmacy costs, in the Senate. (LRC Public Information)(WKYT)
Published: Mar. 13, 2019 at 5:37 PM EDT
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Kentucky lawmakers have passed an abortion discrimination ban, but a legal battle may soon follow.

The Kentucky Senate passed House Bill 5 Wednesday by a 32-4 vote. It will now go to Gov. Matt Bevin's desk.

HB 5 creates a new ban on abortions if a pregnant woman wants to undergo the procedure because of the unborn's "sex, race, color, national origin, or disability." A physician's license would be revoked if he or she practiced the procedure despite the prohibition. It would be a felony offense if someone violates the prohibition.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky announced shortly after the Senate passed the bill that it will sue the state on behalf of the lone remaining abortion provider in Kentucky, located in Louisville. The organization argues women should be able to have private conversations with health care providers to decide on an abortion. The lawsuit will look to prevent the law from going into effect while it is debated in court.

Republican Rep. Melinda Gibbons Prunty said her bill recognizes that "all human life has intrinsic value."

Governor Matt Bevin welcomed the legal challenge from the ACLU on Twitter, stating "Kentucky will always fight for life."

Sen. Ralph Alvarado, Gov. Matt Bevin's 2019 running mate, presented the House bill in the Senate.