Kentucky Republicans empower attorney general to enforce pro-life laws without Dem governor
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February 5, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Overriding a veto by Kentucky Democrat Gov. Andy Beshear, Kentucky Republicans voted this week to allow Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron to enforce Kentucky’s abortion restrictions independent of the governor’s office.
HB 2, which takes effect immediately, empowers Cameron “the power to seek civil and criminal penalties for any violation of Kentucky’s abortion laws,” National Right to Life News reported, with Kentucky Right to Life adding that it “adds additional health and safety assurances and protection for women seeking to terminate their pregnancy by allowing the Attorney General oversight and to act unencumbered to investigate abortion facilities and take action if violations of the law have occurred.”
The Louisville Courier Journal added that Beshear originally vetoed the measure on the grounds that the attorney general’s office, the state’s top law enforcement entity, "does not have the expertise or the necessary structure to directly regulate medical procedures or health care providers,” and that the Cabinet for Health and Family Services would be more of an “impartial regulator.”
Abortion providers should be required to live up to the statutes adopted by our General Assembly, and it’s my hope that the legislature will override this veto.— Attorney General Daniel Cameron (@kyoag) January 20, 2021
Glad to see the General Assembly override the Governor’s veto of HB 2 today, allowing our office to ensure that abortion clinics follow the law.— Attorney General Daniel Cameron (@kyoag) February 2, 2021
Beshear vetoed similar legislation last year.
The dispute is a variant of a dispute from Beshear’s own tenure as Kentucky’s attorney general, during which he refused to defend the state’s pro-life laws in court and the previous governor, Republican Matt Bevin, had his own legal team do so in his place.