Kentucky governor vetoes ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy

House Bill 3 places a number of restrictions on medications used in medical abortion, such as mifepristone. Under the bill, the drug cannot be administered to a patient without obtaining their “informed consent” at least 24 hours in advance, which includes signing a “cabinet-created” document.

The legislation does not provide exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

Beshear said in a veto letter signed Friday that the legislation is “probably unconstitutional.”

The bill, he said, “requires physicians who perform non-surgical procedures to maintain hospital admitting privileges in geographic proximity to the location where the procedure is performed. The Supreme Court has ruled that such requirements are unconstitutional because it makes it impossible women, including a child who is a victim of rape or incest, to obtain a procedure in certain areas of the state.”

The legislation would also amend the law dealing with minor abortions so that only an attending physician, and not an agent, can obtain written consent and requires that the consenting parent or legal guardian “has made a reasonable attempt to notify” any other parent. with joint or physical custody at least 48 hours before giving consent.

Samuel Crankshaw, communications manager for the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, said in a statement Friday that the bill “inserts politics into medicine, aggressively sidesteps science in health care, and threatens the well-being of the people of Kentucky”.

“House Bill 3 has nothing to do with improving patient safety; it’s just another way for extremist Kentucky politicians to push their political agenda at the expense of their constituents’ lives,” he added. Crankshaw.

Despite Beshear’s action, the state General Assembly can override the veto next week with “a constitutional majority of 51 votes in the House of Representatives and 20 votes in the Senate,” Crankshaw said.

Last month, the GOP-led Senate voted 29-0 to pass the legislation and amended the bill to include a 15-week ban. The same day, the Republican-controlled state House of Representatives approved the measure 74-19.

The governor, who could have chosen to allow the bill to become law without signing it, has vetoed abortion legislation before.
Beshear had previously told reporters he would “review every” bill, and in response to a question about abortion bills pending in mid-March, the governor said he believes “health care decisions should be between a patient and his doctor.
His veto follows a recent wave of state-level action to restrict abortion access across the country.
Last month, Republican Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed into law a law banning most abortions in the state after 15 weeks, similar to the Mississippi law currently before the US Supreme Court. , and South Dakota Republican Governor Kristi Noem signed a bill that would restrict access to medical abortions in the state.
In Idaho, Republican Gov. Brad Little signed legislation modeled on Texas law that bans abortions after about six weeks, becoming the first state to follow Texas’ controversial statute that allows citizens to enforce restrictions with lawsuits. .

CNN’s Rachel Janfaza and Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.

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