For Immediate Release: April 24, 2020
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear today vetoed an extreme anti-choice bill (SB 9) designed to expand Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s power to roll back abortion access and promote political interference in deeply personal family decisions.
Last week, in the midst of a major public health crisis, the Kentucky General Assembly dedicated the final hours of the state’s legislative session to passing SB 9 in a transparent attempt to circumvent the authority of pro-choice Democratic Gov. Beshear, who in 2019 defeated extreme anti-choice incumbent Matt Bevin in the governor’s race.
In response to Governor Beshear vetoing this harmful bill, NARAL President Ilyse Hogue said:
“Anti-choice Republicans in Kentucky cravenly pounced on the opportunity presented by the COVID-19 pandemic to advance their agenda of ending abortion access. Governor Beshear has been an advocate for women and families for many years and reaffirmed his commitment today by vetoing SB 9. Now more than ever, sound science and medical expertise should guide public policy, not political games and an extreme agenda. Governor Beshear joins the ranks of other governors, both Republican and Democratic, who have rejected measures designed to meddle in personal decision-making. We applaud him for doing the right thing.”
Kentucky NARAL members also voiced their appreciation for Governor Beshear’s commitment to reproductive freedom and ensuring doctors are able to designate what healthcare is essential, not politicians looking to score points.
“It’s no surprise that anti-choice Republican lawmakers care more about pushing through an out-of-touch ideological agenda than empowering a pro-choice Democratic governor to solve this public health emergency,” said Sheila Penney, a NARAL member from Louisville. “Luckily, Gov. Beshear understands that women ought to have the freedom to make the best decisions for themselves and their families, especially when facing an unprecedented crisis, and I’m grateful to him for vetoing this outrageous bill.”
“As Attorney General, Andy Beshear served as the last line of defense for Kentucky women against the relentless attacks from anti-choice Republicans in the state legislature,” said Kelly Grover, a NARAL member from Fort Thomas. “Kentuckians voted for Gov. Beshear, trusting that he would continue to be a fierce advocate for reproductive freedom. Today, as our fundamental freedoms were on the line, he honored his word and upheld his campaign commitments by vetoing SB 9.”
As a gubernatorial candidate in 2019, Beshear pledged to uphold the fundamental freedoms of Kentuckians by safeguarding access to abortion, earning him the endorsement of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Not only would the bill have granted Attorney General Daniel Cameron, the first Republican Attorney General Kentucky has elected in more than 70 years, the authority to block access to abortion during a state of emergency, it also weaponized harmful disinformation as a means of inserting politicians into Kentuckians’ personal decisions about pregnancy, often in devastating circumstances.
In the weeks leading up to the 2019 gubernatorial election in Kentucky, NARAL ran an independent expenditure including public polling and a five-figure ad buy to slam Bevin for his stance on reproductive freedom and support for criminalizing abortion. NARAL also turned out members to canvass, make calls, and volunteer for the Beshear campaign.
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all. For more than 50 years, NARAL has worked to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. Since 1969, NARAL has made history, grown to over 2.5 million members, and met the moments that have defined this fight with action, power, and freedom. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”