Gov. Beshear vetoes abortion legislation

Published: Apr. 24, 2020 at 9:25 PM EDT
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Kentucky's Democratic governor has vetoed abortion legislation pushed by Republican lawmakers.

The bill would have given the state's anti-abortion attorney general authority to regulate abortion clinics.

It also would have given Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron the power to suspend abortions as an elective procedure during the coronavirus outbreak.

Another part of the vetoed measure would have required doctors to provide life-sustaining care for an infant born alive after a failed abortion attempt.

The governor said in his veto message that an existing Kentucky law already protects children from being denied life-saving medical care.

He also wrote, "During this worldwide health pandemic, it is simply not the time for a divisive set of lawsuits that reduce our unity and our focus on defeating the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and restarting our economy."

Attorney General Cameron released a statement saying, in part, "While the governor's purported reason for vetoing the bill was to avoid creating unnecessary divisiveness during this health crisis, there is no more divisive action than to veto a bill that received support from both sides of the aisle and protects our most vulnerable."

The measure cleared the legislature in the waning hours of this year's legislative session.

As a result, lawmakers won't have an opportunity to override Gov. Andy Beshear's veto.