Analysis

Kentucky sees summer abortion spike as pro-life lawmakers hope to strengthen future laws

kentucky

While the news may be reporting of a surge in COVID cases, in Kentucky another surge is also making headlines: abortions. Kentucky Today reports, “In July 2021, 418 unborn lives were lost to abortion. The staggering total surged past numbers recorded in early summer and late spring months, setting up July to be one of the deadliest months this year.”

Kentucky Today reports from the Vital Statistics Branch that 116 abortions were committed at or before six weeks gestation, with 89% during the first trimester. Many of these were chemical, non-surgical abortions, but “179 babies were aborted using the suction curettage method, also known as a vacuum aspiration abortion.” The state currently has two licensed abortion providers: The EMW Women’s Surgical Center, responsible for 352 of the July abortions, and Planned Parenthood in Louisville, which committed the other 64 abortions.



Recently, Kentucky Governor, Democrat Andy Beshear, appeared as a guest on Meet the Press. During the September 5 episode, Beshear joined host Chuck Todd and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to discuss both the political polarization of the pandemic and abortion — namely, the recent Texas Heartbeat Act. Todd asked both the governors, “Let me lift up and talk about the larger challenge of polarization. And the abortion debate, frankly, I think is only going to exasperate our divide here…. Governor Beshear, both you and Governor Hogan have also — share another thing in common. When you’ve had some abortion bills come from your legislature, you chose not to veto them, but you chose not to sign them and they just became law.”

Beshear’s response to Todd clearly indicates his approach to the death of millions of preborn children in the nation, and he also appears unaware of the spike of hundreds in his own state this past July. “Well, I think it remains to be seen exactly what impact this Texas decision will have, especially with another case coming before the Supreme Court here pretty soon,” he said. “But as the state’s former top prosecutor, I have seen the worst of the worst situations. Young girls raped, impregnated, sometimes by members of their own families. I hope whatever comes down the line provides those victims that have been harmed in ways most of us could never imagine the options that they deserve.”

READ: Coalition launches effort to make Kentucky’s constitution pro-life, with endorsement from AG

Despite the summer surge in abortions and the Governor’s position, legislators are doing what they can to stop the influx. As the Louisville Courier Journal reported recently, Kentucky legislators have “passed a flurry of bills meant to limit or ban abortion since Republicans won the House of Representatives in 2016.” 

And the Commonwealth Journal pointed out on September 3 that the Texas abortion law ruling might be exactly what the state needs in order to strengthen its own abortion laws.

“I’ve always thought if they declare a person dead when there is no longer a heartbeat, then why would you not consider life beginning with a heartbeat?” said State Sen. Rick Girdler. “That seems to be what the Texas law is, so obviously I am in favor of it. I’m sure this is something we will visit in January when we go back into session if this law is not revisited by the Supreme Court,” he added. “I’m sure this will be discussed in our Republican caucuses.”

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