In States of Unborn Emergency

April 27, 2020

If there's anything this crisis should have taught us, it's the value of fighting for every life. So when Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear chose this moment to tell newborn children that they don't deserve medical care, the state was stunned. "Reprehensible" was all state attorney general Daniel Cameron could say when he heard the news that Beshear had vetoed the Born-Alive Protection Act Friday. "The governor had a choice," he shook his head, "and he used it to defend the indefensible."

When reporters took time out of the press conference to ask the governor about it, his response was astounding. "[I'm] just not doing divisive issues right now," he told them. But what could possibly be divisive about a bill that even 77 percent of "pro-choicers" support? Instead, he went on about how the infanticide issue would just pull people "one way or the other -- creating discord in the middle of a time when we've got to be together. I just didn't think it was the right direction for us to go."

He didn't think giving medical care to a fully born human child was the "right decision to go." More than that, he thinks Kentucky doesn't have time to save abortion survivors and handle the coronavirus at the same time -- as if a single signature of his would suddenly stop every other emergency response in the state. "We have got to have 100 percent of our effort aimed toward [the virus]," he said defensively.

State House Speaker David Osborne (R) couldn't have been more upset, telling reporters he was "outraged and saddened over the decision to veto a bill aimed at protecting human life." "The governor, who claims to have everyday family values, vetoed a bill that would require babies born after failed abortions to receive live-saving medical care," Cameron argued, calling it "an affront to the people of Kentucky."

The timing, people pointed out, was also interesting -- late Friday, before the weekend. Obviously, Beshear was trying to draw as little attention to the veto as possible. If that was the strategy, Planned Parenthood's gushing praise didn't help. Without the slightest bit of irony, the local chapter insisted, "A global pandemic is not the time to play political games with people's lives." No, it's time to save them -- which is what this law would have done. Fortunately for Kentucky, Osborne isn't giving up. "This is not the end of this issue. The House Majority Caucus has been called the most pro-life in the history of our Commonwealth, and we will continue to fight for human life."

Meanwhile, in Louisiana, Democratic governor, John Bel Edwards, who has done the right thing on issues like the heartbeat bill, couldn't bring himself to enforce his own emergency order when it came to the state's abortion clinics.

A week ago, he said that "time-sensitive" elective medical procedures could resume, an indication the coronavirus crisis is easing in the state. Some outpatient surgery centers had apparently been defying the Louisiana Department of Health's (LDH) order to stop operating anyway, namely three abortion clinics in the state.

State Attorney General Jeff Landry's office investigated the clinics to determine if they were in violation of LDH's emergency order. The report was given to Governor Edwards, but instead of closing the clinics, he gave them his blessing to continue -- without restraint.

Here's a legitimate question: If abortion clinics can operate now with the governor's full blessing, then why can't churches and small businesses, who are in an even better position to adhere to the CDC distancing guidelines and sanitation protocols? Governor Edwards is expected to make an announcement about the reopening of the state soon, and we hope logic will apply. If the public health crisis has diminished to the point that the abortion industry can resume (rather, continue) operation, it stands to reason that others should as well.