Kentucky’s Democratic governor, Andy Beshear, has vetoed a bill that guarantees live-saving care to infants who survive abortion attempts, saying it would cause “a whole bunch of lawsuits” and “discord.”
Beshear also recently vetoed a bill to create voter ID requirements in elections, a simple safeguard against election fraud.
The so-called “born alive” abortion bill, which passed in the final hours of this year’s session of the Kentucky legislature, also would have let Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron regulate abortion in the state and shut down abortion clinics during the coronavirus outbreak, according to WFPL.
During his daily press conference on April 24, Beshear said that backers of the bill were just trying to create divisions during the pandemic.
“A whole bunch of lawsuits that would be out there and would be pulling people one way or another, creating discord in the middle of a time where we’ve got to be together, I just didn’t think was the right direction for us to go,” Beshear said.
The state already outlaws abortion during or after the 20th week of pregnancy, earlier than a fetus would be able to survive outside the womb.
Still, Republicans slammed the governor’s veto on Friday. House Speaker David Osborne said he was “outraged and saddened” by Beshear’s veto.
“Make no mistake, the Governor had a choice and he used it to defend the indefensible,” Osborne wrote in a statement. “This is about protecting a human life outside of the womb. It is a miracle for an infant to survive an abortion and to not render assistance is unthinkable.”
Attorney General Cameron called Beshear’s veto “disheartening,” saying that his office should have the authority to “hold abortion clinics accountable to the law.”