Kentucky governor to veto Republican-backed 15-week abortion ban | Miscarriage

Democratic governor of Kentucky, Andy Beshear, vetoed a Republican priority measure on Friday that would ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy and regulate abortion pills.

The governor questioned the constitutionality of the law and criticized it for not including exceptions to pregnancies caused by rape or incest.

Lawmakers will have a chance to reject the veto when they re-converge next week for the last two days of this year’s 60-day legislative session. Abortion has gained overwhelming support in the GOP-dominated legislature. A state republican party spokesman called the veto the latest example of a governor’s “ideological warfare” against conservative values.

The proposal reflects the recent attempt by Kentucky legislators to impose more restrictions and conditions on abortion since the Republicans took full control of the legislature after the 2016 elections.

The proposed 15-week ban is modeled on the Mississippi Act, being investigated by a US supreme court in a case that could drastically restrict abortion rights. Taking preventive action, backers of the bill say a stricter Kentucky ban will be imposed if Mississippi law is upheld.

Kentucky law currently prohibits abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Beshear condemned the bill for not excluding pregnancies caused by rape or incest.

“Rape and incest are violent crimes,” the governor said in his veto on Friday. “Victims of these crimes should have options, and not be further frightened by a trial that makes them more vulnerable to rapists or that treats them as criminals themselves.”

The governor said the law would make it more difficult for girls under 18 to terminate pregnancies without notifying both parents. As an example, he mentioned that a girl impregnated by her father would have to notify him of the intention to have an abortion.

Beshear, a former state attorney general, also said the bill was “likely unconstitutional,” noting that similar laws elsewhere had been overturned by a supreme court. He pointed to the provisions in the Kentucky Act requiring non-surgical physicians to maintain the privilege of being admitted to a hospital in “geographic proximity” to the place of treatment.

“The Supreme Court found such requirements unconstitutional because it prevents women, including a child who is a victim of rape or incest, from getting a procedure in certain areas of the state,” said the governor.

Opponents of the Kentucky Act say its restrictions are so onerous that no abortion clinic can comply with it.

The State Republican Party sharply criticized Beshear for the veto. It is likely to reappear as a problem next year when the governor runs for a second term in the popular Republican state of Kentucky.

On Friday, Republican state spokesman Sean Southard said the governor’s veto was “the last act in his ideological war against the conservative values ​​of the people of Kentuck.”

Proponents of the right to abortion defended the governor’s actions. Jackie McGranahan, political strategist of the American Civil Liberties Union in Kentucky, said the bill aims to “embarrass and ostracize patients” and “push a safe and effective method of abortion care out of reach.”

Another key part of the project would be to lay down the rules governing the dispensing of abortion pills.

This would require a personal examination of the woman by a doctor before taking the drug.

This section of the law is part of a nationwide pressure from anti-abortion groups to limit doctors from prescribing abortion pills through telemedicine and is a response to the increasing use of the pill instead of early termination surgery.

About half of all abortions performed in Kentucky are the result of pharmacological procedures.

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