Kentucky Gov Andy Beshear Vetoes Bill to Hold Abortion Centers Accountable for Breaking Law

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jan 20, 2021   |   2:38PM   |   Frankfort, KY

As expected, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear vetoed a pro-life bill Tuesday that would give the attorney general power to hold abortion facilities accountable to basic health and safety standards.

WAVE 3 News reports state House Bill 2 was one of five bills that the pro-abortion Democrat governor rejected this week. The others involved the governor’s powers in a crisis, such as the coronavirus pandemic.

Sponsored by state Rep. Joseph Fichter, R-Fort Thomas, the pro-life legislation would give the state attorney general power to hold abortion facilities accountable if they do not comply with state health regulations. Currently, that power rests with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which is led by the current governor’s appointee.

Beshear defended his decision in his veto message, saying: “The office of the Attorney General does not have the expertise or the necessary structure to directly regulate medical procedures or health care providers. Regulation of legal medical procedures is done by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.”

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Earlier this month, Fischer slammed the governor for showing “no interest in enforcing or defending” pro-life state laws. Lawmakers also accused the governor of showing favoritism to the abortion industry. Beshear received campaign donations from the only abortion facility in the state.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a pro-life Republican, has been defending state pro-life laws in court. He recently said Fichter’s bill will give his office “clear legal authority” to act “when an abortion provider breaks the law,” the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

The AP reports state lawmakers are scheduled to return to session in February, and Republicans, who hold a super-majority in both chambers, could override Beshear’s veto.

The governor did say he is willing to discuss a compromise with Republican leaders, but House Speaker David Osborne expressed skepticism, saying the governor spent “10 months of unilateral decision-making” during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the report.

The pro-life bill also passed the state legislature in 2020, but Beshear vetoed it. In November, Republicans won additional seats in the legislature and now have enough votes to override the governor’s vetoes.

Initially, the bill passed in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, when many governors ordered temporary halts to non-essential medical care.

At the end of March 2020, Cameron urged Eric Friedlander, secretary of the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services, to hold abortion facilities accountable to the COVID-19 health restrictions, WBKO reported at the time.

“… Kentucky’s abortion providers are violating his ban on elective medical procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic by continuing to perform abortions,” Cameron said in a statement. “Kentucky’s current ban on elective medical procedures exists to further the mandated policy of social distancing and to help conserve medical resources for use in fighting COVID-19.”

He urged abortion facilities to join the thousands of medical professionals across Kentucky who were canceling and postponing elective and non-essential procedures to help slow the spread of the virus and conserve medical supplies.

However, the only abortion facility in the state, EMW Women’s Surgical Center in Louisville, continued to abort unborn babies.