Kentucky Rings in the New Year with Life

January 11, 2021

When all else fails, look to the states. That's where hope is in abundance. Despite a difficult start to 2021, pro-life leaders are keeping their heads down and focusing on what they can do to affect change. In Kentucky, that's translated into an encouraging start to the short legislative session, especially where the unborn are concerned.

While the rest of the country was dealing with the breaking Big Tech News, senators in the Bluegrass State were hard at work on Saturday with their expanded majority, voting 30-5 to send an important bill to Governor Andy Beshear's (D) desk. With it, the state's attorney general, conservative Daniel Cameron (R) would have brand new powers to regulate state abortion centers.

"I am grateful to Representative Joe Fischer and House leadership for, on day one of the 2021 session, passing a bill out of committee that will allow our office to act unencumbered and with clear legal authority when an abortion provider breaks the law," Cameron responded. "It is my job as the Chief Law Officer for the Commonwealth to ensure that abortion providers follow the law and are not given special treatment or blanket exemptions, as they were during the start of this pandemic. I look forward to continuing to work with the General Assembly on this important measure."

If the legislation sounds familiar, it's because Governor Beshear vetoed something similar at the end of 2020. Now, despite all of the other issues competing for the state's attention, senators determined that this pro-life proposal was important enough to make it the first bill passed in the new year.

Should the governor come to his senses and sign it, Attorney General Cameron would be able to seek "civil and criminal" penalties for any violations of Kentucky's abortion laws. And, thanks to the jump start they got on the legislation, pro-lifers made sure that this year -- unlike 2020 -- they have enough time to override Beshear if he vetoes.

The same is true of the state's born-alive abortion survivors bill, which also passed the Kentucky House and Senate over the weekend -- with bipartisan support. "The fact that this bill passed in the early days of the 2021 session of the General Assembly is an indicator that, at least in Kentucky, most of our elected officials value life," Todd Gray, the head of the Kentucky Baptist Convention wrote. "While Gov. Andy Beshear may attempt to veto the bill as he did last year, his efforts will undoubtedly fail given the bill's strong support and the veto override power of both Republican-led chambers."