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Kentucky lawmakers react to Roe v. Wade news

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6
Published: May. 3, 2022 at 5:30 PM EDT
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KENTUCKY (WYMT) - If the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade this summer, abortions could effectively come to an end in Kentucky.

On Monday night, a draft opinion was leaked from the Supreme Court that suggests it may overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide.

Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday confirmed the authenticity of a leaked draft opinion before ordering an investigation into what he called an “egregious breach of trust.”

If the ruling were overturned, that would give the decision of allowing or outlawing abortions to the state level.

If the court’s decision goes through, Kentucky’s trigger law would take effect. Former Governor Matt Bevin signed the law in 2019. It’s designed to ban all abortions if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

The ACLU of Kentucky is not sure the justices will actually vote to overturn it.

“Otherwise we are pretty devastated. That opinion is as bad as we thought it might be. And it does threaten the lives of Kentuckians,” said Angela Cooper, ACLU of Kentucky.

Kentucky lawmakers have been making statements on the leaked draft.

While speaking at the Lexington Chamber of Commerce Tuesday morning, Kentucky Majority Floor Leader Sen. Damon Thayer said, “I think we have known with the shift in the membership of the Kentucky Supreme Court that Roe V. Wade’s days are potentially numbered. We have a populace in the commonwealth that is very conservative and pro-life.”

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell issued this statement regarding the leaked draft opinion:

“Last night’s stunning breach was an attack on the independence of the Supreme Court. By every indication, this was yet another escalation in the radical left’s ongoing campaign to bully and intimidate federal judges and substitute mob rule for the rule of law.

“The disgraceful statements by President Biden, Speaker Pelosi, and Leader Schumer refuse to defend judicial independence and the rule of law and instead play into this toxic spectacle. Real leaders should defend the Court’s independence unconditionally.

“This lawless action should be investigated and punished as fully as possible. The Chief Justice must get to the bottom of it and the Department of Justice must pursue criminal charges if applicable.

“All nine Justices should tune out the bad-faith noise and feel totally free to do their jobs, following the facts and the law where they lead.”

Mitch McConnell

Governor Andy Beshear said in a statement he believes abortion being made illegal will create other problems:

“If that leaked decision is ultimately the decision of the United States Supreme Court it will result in a total ban in a Kentucky, meaning even children, a 13-year-olds, that are impregnated through rape or incest that are violated. I mean. as the former chief prosecutor of Kentucky, these things happened, and those kids won’t have any options and I think that is wrong.”

Andy Beshear

Voters will actually have an abortion-related question on their ballots this year. It will ask people if they favor an addition to the state constitution stating there is no right to an abortion or funding of abortion

The ACLU said if the procedure is banned in Kentucky, people will simply travel to other states to receive them.

Planned Parenthood of Kentucky and Indiana also released a statement saying, in part, that “what’s coming is dangerous and will open the floodgates for states across the country to ban abortion, devastating communities nationwide.”

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