Federal appeals court upholds Kentucky's ultrasound abortion law

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- A federal appeals court has upheld the constitutionality of a Kentucky law requiring doctors to perform ultrasounds and show fetal images to patients prior to abortions.

The 2-1 ruling Thursday by a 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel is a victory for Kentucky's Republican Gov. Matt Bevin. The 2017 law was challenged by the state's last remaining abortion clinic.

The law was struck down in a lower court, prompting Bevin to appeal.

The majority opinion said the law doesn't violate a doctor's First Amendment rights. It also said ultrasounds provide "relevant information."

Kentucky's law would force doctors to describe the ultrasound while the pregnant woman listens to the fetal heartbeat. Women could avert their eyes and ask to have the sound of the heartbeat turned off