Legislators override veto of enforcement statute days after a “Born Alive” bill became law without the governor’s signature, giving Kentucky’s pro-life attorney a green light to prosecute abortion clinics that violate state statutes.
On Feb. 2, both houses in the Blue Grass State’s Legislature voted to override Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto of a bill passed on Jan. 9 that gave the attorney general new powers to pursue civil and criminal charges against abortionists.
Gov. Beshear had vetoed the legislation on Jan. 19, but the Republican-dominated legislature, fortified by more seats gained in November, voted 73-20 in the state House and 32-5 in the state Senate to override the veto.
It was the second major piece of pro-life legislation to go on the books in Kentucky in less than two weeks.
On Jan. 23, Senate Bill 9, known as the “Born Alive” bill, became law 10 days after it was sent to the governor. Facing a certain override vote, he didn’t veto it, letting it become law without his signature. An emergency clause allows the bill to become law immediately.
“Whether it’s an abortion that didn’t work, or a premature birth, or whatever the circumstance might be, if a child is born alive, it must be given medical care consistent with whatever its needs are,” the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Crofton, said. “This doesn’t change the standard of care, it doesn’t establish what that care must be, because medical professionals need to make that decision where they are at that moment, under the circumstances.”
Kentucky became the 29th state to enact a Born Alive law, joining the neighboring states of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Tennessee.
“I am grateful for the work of Sen. Whitney Westerfield and our legislators to defend the life of the unborn in Kentucky,” said Dr. Todd Gray, executive director-treasurer of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. “This is one more step in the right direction of abolishing the human rights atrocity that is legalized abortion on demand in Kentucky.”
More power to prosecute
The prosecution bill, sponsored by state Rep. Joseph Fichter, R-Fort Thomas, allows state Attorney General Daniel Cameron to seek civil and criminal penalties against abortion facilities that violate state laws. That power had rested with the Beshear-staffed Cabinet for Health and Family Services, according to LifeNews.com.
The new law also prevents abortion facilities from designating an elective abortion as an “emergent or urgent medical procedure during the state of emergency declared in response to COVID-19.”
In 2020, Gov. Beshear had vetoed a similar bill, but now faced the fortified pro-life contingent in the legislature.
In a letter to the governor, the ACLU of Kentucky had urged him to veto both bills, claiming that they “undermine science-based healthcare regulations.”
The letter references “pregnant person” several times but nowhere uses the terms “woman” or “women,” an apparent nod to the transgender lobby, which insists that “men” can get pregnant.
A writer for Timothy Partners, Ltd. He is a regular weekly columnist for The Washington Times and Townhall.com and is frequently published by AmericanThinker.com, DailyCaller.com, OneNewsNow.com, and others. He has authored the following books: “A Strong Constitution: What Would America Look Like If We Followed the Law” (D. James Kennedy Ministries, 2018), Invested with Purpose: The Birth of the Biblically-Responsible Investment Movement, and A Nation Worth Fighting For: 10 Steps to Restore Freedom.