LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky abortion clinic is asking a federal appeals court to rehear an appeal in the case of a state law that requires doctors to perform ultrasounds and show fetal images to patients prior to abortions.

A divided panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last month that the 2017 law is constitutional, reversing a lower court judge.

Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union, representing the Louisville abortion clinic, filed a petition Monday asking that the full appeals court hear the case. The petition cites a First Amendment issue of "exceptional importance."

The law requires doctors to describe the ultrasound in detail while the pregnant woman listens to the fetal heartbeat. Women can avert their eyes and ask for the sound of the heartbeat turned off.