The State Capitol dome in Frankfort | Photo via Legislative Research Commission

By Mark Vanderhoff | WLKY

Two new bills are setting off another debate over abortion in the state. A Kentucky Senate bill that would ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected is expected to receive a hearing Thursday. A similar bill has been filed in the House by Republican Robert Goforth, who is running for governor.

Kentucky is just the latest state to see this legislation. Courts have struck down similar bills in Arkansas and North Dakota, and a similar measure was recently vetoed in Ohio.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood held a news conference vowing to fight the proposals.

Senate Bill 9 and House Bill 100 would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, while Senate Bill 50 would create a database to track the drugs administered to induce abortion.

The ACLU of Kentucky said it is watching the legislation closely and a rally is scheduled for Feb. 7.

“This is absolutely part of a national strategy to make sure that abortion is completely inaccessible — regardless of what point of pregnancy you’re at, regardless of your circumstances,” said Kate Miller of ACLU of Kentucky.

There are three current court cases involving recent limits on abortions in Kentucky:

  • A ruling is pending on banning certain second-trimester abortions.
  • A law requiring ultrasounds was struck down in federal court and is awaiting an appeals court ruling.
  • A federal judge ruled against a law requiring transfer agreements between hospitals and abortion clinics, but Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration has appealed that ruling.
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