Kentucky legislature overrides governor's veto of 15-week abortion ban

The law will go into effect immediately, shuttering both abortion facilities in the state.
An ultrasound machine at a women's clinic for examining pregnant women
(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The Kentucky legislature overrode on Wednesday Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear's veto of a bill that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

The state's new law resembles those of Mississippi and Florida, and will shutter the two abortion clinics currently operating in the Bluegrass state. The law has been framed as an emergency measure and will therefore take effect immediately, unless a court stops the implementation of the legislation. The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood immediately announced their intent to file suits in Kentucky federal court aiming to do just that.

"Along with Planned Parenthood, we're fighting to immediately block this law and ensure that people in Kentucky can continue to get the abortion care they need," wrote the ACLU on Twitter.

Similarly to Florida's bill, H.B. 3 does not make exceptions in the case of pregnancy as the result of rape or incest, a main objection of Beshear's. 

"Under House Bill 3, a 12-year-old child that is raped and impregnated by her father would not have the option of a procedure without both the consent of her mother and without also notifying her rapist – her father – at least 48 hours prior to obtaining a procedure," wrote the governor, adding that the bill is "likely unconstitutional." 

The state's overwhelming Republican House and Senate overrode the veto by margins of 76-21 and 31-6, respectively. 

Republican controlled states have been passing laws restricting abortion in anticipation of a forthcoming Supreme Court decision that could significantly undercut or overturn altogether the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion at a national level.