Newsbreak

Kentucky abortion facilities shut down as lawmakers override governor’s veto of pro-life bill

Kentucky

Kentucky lawmakers have overridden Governor Andy Beshear’s veto on a bill that enacts sweeping abortion regulations in the state. With the ruling, House Bill 3 goes into effect immediately. As a result, both of the state’s abortion facilities have announced that they are closing their doors immediately because they are unable to comply with the new regulations. Abortion providers have also already filed a lawsuit to stop the law.

The legislation means that the state now has a number of new abortion provisions, including:

  • A restriction on abortions after 15 weeks
  • An end to telemedicine abortions (abortion pill distribution without an in-person visit)
  • A requirement that physicians who distribute the abortion pill must be specially certified
  • The creation of a state-run “complaint portal” for people to report suspected violations
  • Updated abortion reporting requirements
  • Updated parental consent guidelines for minors who want an abortion
  • Restrictions to ensure no taxpayer funding of abortion
  • Guidelines for the dignified disposal of fetal remains

The legislation was passed by both the House and the Senate in late March but was subsequently vetoed by Gov. Beshear on April 8. However, because Republicans hold a supermajority in both the House and the Senate, they were able to overwhelmingly override Beshear’s ruling with a vote of 76 to 21 in the House and 31 to 6 in the Senate.

READ: Kentucky pro-lifers don’t let buffer zones stop them from offering help to women

Abortion advocates have already filed two lawsuits to stop the new legislation. The state currently has just two abortion facilities:  Planned Parenthood and EMW Women’s Surgical Center, both in Louisville. Both facilities have announced that they will stop committing abortions altogether as a result of the new law.

“It is impossible to comply with its vast provisions, resulting in an immediate ban on abortion state-wide in the absence of this Court’s intervention,” Planned Parenthood said in its lawsuit.

For now, the law stands and has earned the praise of those in the pro-life movement. “We’re proud of the Kentucky Legislature for standing up to pro-abortion Governor Beshear,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said in a statement Wednesday. “Like most Americans, Kentuckians want commonsense safeguards for unborn babies and their mothers and reject abortion on demand. We thank all our allies who fought to get this legislation across the finish line, and we hope the U.S. Supreme Court will soon allow the people and their legislators nationwide to enact laws that save lives.”

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