Kentucky senator Karen Berg issued a passionate defence of women’s rights as she denounced legislation put forward to restrict abortion in the state.

Ms Berg, who is also a diagnostic radiologist, told her Senate colleagues that any law restricting the procedure is a “medical sham” that will endanger the lives of women.

She is the only woman – and only physician – on a committee debating a bill that would ban abortion after 15 weeks.

“What you are doing is putting a gun to women’s head… you are killing women,” Ms Berg said.