LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – A stunning leak from the nation’s highest court appears to show a majority of supreme court justices favoring overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark case that solidified abortion rights in the united states.
Kentucky is among 13 states that have what’s called a trigger law on the books, meaning the moment the supreme court makes its decision, abortions could end immediately in Kentucky.
“The leak was an unprecedented leak, we’ve not seen anything like this before,” Sen. Donald Douglas (R-Nicholasville) said to reporters.
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Kentucky GOP senators projected a cautiously optimistic mood over the possibility Roe v. Wade could be overturned, as suggested by the leaked draft opinion.
“I think we’re all hopeful that what we read last night will become true but until it does I don’t want to comment any further on it,” Sen. Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown) said.
“If this truly is true, we want you to know the Kentucky General Assembly is ready,” Douglas said.
The overturning of Roe v. Wade would push the decision on abortion rights back to the states, but in Kentucky, that debate is already done. In 2019, House Bill 148 set the triggers in place to end abortions almost entirely in Kentucky if Roe is overturned.
“So if that leaked decision is ultimately the decision of the United States Supreme Court it will result in a total ban in Kentucky meaning even children, 13-year-olds that are impregnated through rape or incest, that are violated. I mean as former Chief Prosecutor of Kentucky … these things happen,” Gov. Andy Beshear said.
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“We have a populace here in the Commonwealth that is very conservative and very pro-life and we wanted to be pro-active, not reactive,” Thayer said.
There is a slim exception in cases where the health of the mother is at risk. GOP Lawmakers said they are ready to tighten the law if they deem it necessary.
Rebecca Gibron, CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest Hawai‘i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, released the following statement:
“Abortion is still safe and legal in Kentucky, but last night’s leaked opinion makes it clear that our deepest fears are coming true: abortion access is at a crisis point. The threat to abortion access across the country is not hypothetical–our right to abortion is being crushed right now. We’ve already gotten a preview of what comes next in Kentucky as we watched the state go dark for eight days on abortion access because of sweeping abortion restrictions passed by the Kentucky General Assembly. What’s coming is dangerous and will open the floodgates for states across the country to ban abortion, devastating communities nationwide.”Rebecca Gibron, CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest Hawai‘i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky
Kentucky is also ready to go a step further in ending abortions. This fall, a constitutional amendment is on the ballot, brought by House Bill 91, that will allow voters to decide if there is no right to abortion under Kentucky’s constitution.