Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has vetoed legislation that would have given Attorney General Daniel Cameron the authority to ban abortions during the COVID-19 pandemic and would have also provided protection to infants who survive abortion procedures. Senate Bill 9 required medical care for any abortion survivor, and classified abortion as an elective procedure, making it eligible to be restricted or banned during the pandemic.
In a statement, Beshear explained why he vetoed the legislation. “I am vetoing Senate Bill 9 because existing Kentucky law already fully protects children from being denied life-saving medical care and treatment when they are born,” he wrote. “In addition, bills similar to Senate Bill 9 have been struck down as unconstitutional in the majority of states in America when challenged. During this worldwide health pandemic, it is simply not the time for a divisive set of lawsuits that reduce our unity and our focus on defeating the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and restarting our economy.”
Despite what Beshear claimed, both Texas and Arkansas had their abortion bans upheld by federal appeals courts. Beshear previously had put into place an executive order banning “non-urgent, in-person” procedures. Cameron had previously called for abortion facilities to stop committing abortions in an effort to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE), and follow the same laws and standards that legitimate health care providers are held to.
His veto has angered some of the legislators involved in passing the bill.
“Make no mistake, the governor had a choice and he used it to defend the indefensible,” House Speaker David Osborne said in a statement. Sen. Whitney Westerfield, lead sponsor of the bill, likewise criticized the veto. “I’m not surprised, but I am supremely disappointed the governor has once again shown his hostility to unborn life,” he said.
According to Westerfield, Kentucky is one of 24 states without legislation specifically dedicated to protecting abortion survivors.
Live Action investigations have also found abortion facilities across the country are unwilling to give assistance to a baby who survive an abortion. The Centers for Disease Control has also acknowledged that babies survive botched abortions, even without data supplied from highly populous states like California — meaning the true number, as the CDC admits, is almost surely higher. And many pro-abortion politicians attempt to claim that the Born Alive Infants Protection Act already protects abortion survivors; however, the law is inadequate because it contains no penalties for breaking the law, nor does it mandate any kind of medical care for abortion survivors.
Beshear said he vetoed the legislation because now isn’t the time for division. Yet a veto isn’t a passive choice to abstain from the argument; he’s still choosing a side, and in this particular case, he sided against protecting abortion survivors.
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