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Beshear: Abortion ban would hurt minors, victims of sexual abuse

Beshear Presser
Stephanie Wolf

Gov. Andy Beshear said if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade this summer, it will mean less protection for minors and people who have suffered sexual abuse. 

Beshear spoke to reporters Tuesday, a day after Politico reported on a leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court which shows the high court moving toward overturning Roe this summer. 

The draft could change before the final vote but if the court overturns Roe, Kentucky already has a law in place to ban it. It’s one of 13 states with so-called “trigger laws” set to go into effect if Roe goes away.

“Last year the general assembly passed an act that, if this draft opinion goes through, will create a total ban in Kentucky,” Beshear said. “And that means victims of rape or incest, even the youngest of Kentuckians will have no options.

“Being a former prosecutor who fought for justice for those individuals, they should have those options, and I think most Kentuckians would agree with that.”

The law makes an exception if the pregnant person is at risk of death “or to prevent the serious, permanent impairment of a life-sustaining organ.” 

Beshear also expressed the need for protections for minors and victims of abuse when he recently vetoed Kentucky House Bill 3, which restricts abortion medication, makes it harder for minors to get abortions and bans all abortions at 15 weeks. 

The legislature later overrode the veto, but the law was blocked after Planned Parenthood brought a federal lawsuit. The judge in that case said yesterday she intends to extend the temporary restraining order she initially granted in April, but allow for parts of the law that abortion providers can currently comply with. 

Aprile is WFPL's health reporter. Rickert comes to WFPL from the News and Tribune in Southern Indiana, where she covered crime and courts as a senior reporter. A New Albany native, she spent nearly two decades in Louisville before recently moving back across the river to Jeffersonville.
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