Kentucky Legislature Overrides Beshear’s Abortion Bill Veto, Closing Abortion Centers For Now

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The Republican-dominated State House and Kentucky Senate each voted to override Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto of an abortion bill on Wednesday, a move that is expected to temporarily close both centers. abortion currently operating in the state.

HB 3 echoes the Mississippi law at the center of the Supreme Court case Whole Women’s Health v. Jackson – the case in which the Court should overturn the abortion precedent of Roe v. Wade (1973) – prohibiting most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy with exceptions for the life or health of the mother. The law also imposes additional reporting requirements regarding medical abortions and states that abortion facilities must work with a funeral home to dispose of fetal remains by individual burial or cremation.

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Since the bill is designed as an emergency measure, the law will come into effect immediately. The state’s two abortion facilities said they would not be able to immediately comply with some new requirements, so they would stop offering abortions in the state unless a court blocks the law enforcement, reported the Wall Street Journal.

Andy Beshear, Governor of Kentucky, speaks during a press conference in Frankfort, Kentucky, U.S., Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022.
(Jon Cherry/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Beshear vetoed the bill on Friday, blaming the bill for excluding rape and incest exceptions.

“Under House Bill 3, a 12-year-old child who is raped and impregnated by his father would not have the option of a procedure without his mother’s consent and without also informing his rapist – his father – at least 48 hours before getting a procedure, the governor wrote.

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“Furthermore, House Bill 3 is likely unconstitutional,” he added, citing Texas and Louisiana laws that the Supreme Court had previously struck down. He noted that HB 3 “requires physicians performing non-surgical procedures to maintain hospital admitting privileges in geographic proximity to where the procedure is performed,” a restriction the Court struck down. He also noted that the bill would create three new full-time positions and create a program estimated to cost $1 million — but the bill does not earmark any funds for these purposes.

Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky on July 29, 2019.

Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky on July 29, 2019.
(Photo by Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)

Still, the state House of Representatives voted to override his veto, 76 to 21, and the Senate agreed, 31 to 6.

Proponents of the law say it contains common sense requirements to ensure the dignity of fetal remains and protect women’s health by more closely tracking potential complications from medical abortions. Addia Wuchner, executive director of Kentucky Right to Life and a former Kentucky legislator, said politicians have spent years crafting the regulations and working with groups to ensure they can be implemented.

“There’s no wording in there that would restrict or ban abortion outright,” Wucher told the Wall Street Journal.

Abortion providers have said there is no way for them to comply with the law just yet, in part because some of the extra forms they need to fill out don’t yet exist. They also expressed concerns about finding funeral homes that would work with them to dispose of the fetal remains.

FILE - In this June 4, 2019 file photo, a family planning clinic is pictured in St. Louis.

FILE – In this June 4, 2019 file photo, a family planning clinic is pictured in St. Louis.
(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

Planned parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union announced plans to sue in federal court in Kentucky, in an effort to freeze implementation of the law.

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“Along with Planned Parenthood, we are fighting to immediately block this law and ensure that the people of Kentucky can continue to receive the abortion care they need, the ACLU announced on Twitter.

Life advocates, however, welcomed the legislature’s decision.

“We are proud of the Kentucky Legislature for standing up to pro-abortion Governor Beshear,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List, said in a statement Wednesday. “Like most Americans, Kentuckians want common-sense safeguards for unborn babies and their mothers and reject abortion on demand. We thank all of our allies who fought to get this legislation across the line. arrival, and we hope that the Supreme Court of the United States will soon empower the people and their legislators across the country to enact laws that save lives.”

States with Democratic legislatures passed laws codifying abortion in the event Roe was overthrown. Gov. Jared Polis, D-Colo., signed a law creating a “fundamental right” to abortion and denying any right to the unborn child. In 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo, DN.Y., signed legislation codifying abortion rights and explicit deletion protections against unborn children.

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Meanwhile, states with Republican legislatures have passed laws restricting abortion, with Texas and Idaho passing laws allowing private citizens to bring civil lawsuits against those who aid or abet abortions after the death. detection of a fetal heart rate, at approximately 6 weeks of pregnancy.

While many polls suggest Americans support Roe, in-depth polls reveal a more complicated picture. Asked about their opinion on abortion during specific periods of pregnancy and other situations, 71% of Americans say they support limiting abortion to the first three months of pregnancy (22%), or in other limited circumstances such as rape and incest (28%), to save the life of the mother (9% ) or not at all (12%) . Only 17% of Americans said abortion should be available throughout an entire pregnancy, and 12% said it should be limited to the first six months.

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