Dueling news conferences filled the Capitol Rotunda with passionate pleas and warnings. Kentucky's pro-life caucus promised that they'll be active this session as multiple abortion bills were announced this week, though one plan requires action in Washington if it were to ever become law in the Commonwealth.
House Bill 148 requires the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade to prohibit abortion outright. Other bills would require doctors report prescribing drugs that can end pregnancies and prevent the procedure being made based on a child's race, gender or diagnosed disability.
Caucus Member Representative Nancy Tate has a child with autism, and said she supports House Bill 5, the bill to prevent abortions based on race, gender or disability.
"I can tell you that if i had to do it all over again, I would choose life," Tate said. "Every unborn child should have the same opportunity. With the passage of these bills, we can ensure that that opportunity is a reality."
Others disagree with the idea that lawmakers should have any say in abortions.
"At the end of the day i think this is a decision between a person and their doctor the legislature has no right to be in there," mother Katie Vandergrift said.
Vandergrift, who suffered a miscarriage during a pregnancy with several complications, spoke earlier in the day as the ACLU and Planned Parenthood warned against the caucus's efforts.
"These bills offer dangerously few exceptions for the health of the mother and almost no exceptions for the health of the pregnancy, there is no medical reason for this type of legislation and doctors are not asking for it," Kate Miller, ACLU-KY Advocacy Director, said.
A bill most concerning for them is Senate Bill 9, Senator Matt Castlen's so-called "Heartbeat Bill" banning abortions at six weeks.
The ACLU warns that most women don't know they're pregnant that early and it would effectively ban all abortions.
"I would argue that it would be one of the most pro-life bills in the country," Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer said. "It would be a strong statement about defending the unborn and i personally am proud to think that Kentucky will continue to be at the forefront."
Testimony on Senate Bill 9, scheduled for Thursday, was postponed. Supporters say they'll hold hearings in February so both sides can prepare to testify.