KY Politicians React to Supreme Court Overturn of Roe V. Wade

Kentucky’s elected-officials ran to their ideological corners on Friday morning as the U.S. Supreme Court officially overturned a landmark decision granting a federal constitutional right to abortion.

The 6-3 decision by the Supreme Court gives states the power to set their own abortion laws, the 1973 Roe V. Wade ruling had given federal protection for abortions during the first two trimesters of pregnancy.

“The Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Dobbs is courageous and correct,” U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell said in a statement. “This is an historic victory for the Constitution and for the most vulnerable in our society.”

Gov. Andy Beshear, D-Kentucky, said the ruling will trigger an “extremist Kentucky law that creates a total ban in Kentucky that will eliminate all options for victims of incest or rape.”

“As the former chief prosecutor of Kentucky, I know that these violent crimes happen, and not having options for victims of rape and incest is wrong,” Beshear said.

State Senate Minority Leader and 3rd District Congressional Democratic nominee Morgan McGarvey called the decision “wrong,” in a statement.

“With this ruling, abortions in Kentucky are now illegal—even for victims of rape and incest. This is wrong,” McGarvey said. “And now that the guardrails are off, extremists are going to push more and more radical legislation in state houses across the country and in the U.S. Congress.”

“Choice is on the ballot this November,” he continued. “If Republicans are allowed to take back power in Congress, we can be certain they will go even further and push a nationwide abortion ban. I will continue to fight against this extremist agenda that refuses to recognize women’s rights to control their own body. I will be a vote to codify Roe into federal law, because we cannot allow this ruling to mean that access to safe, legal abortion no longer exists.”

Democratic Louisville mayoral nominee Craig Greenberg also issued a statement Friday pledging that Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) would not be the enforcement arm of a ban on reproductive healthcare.

“Today’s Supreme Court decision is a tragedy for the rights of American women. We don’t yet know what the downward spiral of consequences will be for all Americans, only that it will be devastating to the lives, health and privacy of millions,” Greenberg said.

“The health of women in Louisville is now in jeopardy and the shameful reality is that some women in our city will lose their lives because of this decision,” he continued. “As Mayor, I will do everything within the city’s power to limit the damage of this decision. I pledge that our city’s police will not be the enforcement arm of a ban on reproductive healthcare, be it abortion or other medical decisions.”

Attorney General and GOP gubernatorial primary contender Daniel Cameron issued also sought to capitalize on the announcement with a statement, and media availability on Friday.

“Today is a day that many have hoped for—the issue of abortion has been returned to the people and to the states, where it belongs. This moment deserves to be celebrated, but it also calls for renewed commitment. Renewed commitment to life-affirming care for the unborn, for mothers, and for Kentucky families,” he said. “Our General Assembly has already passed laws that protect unborn babies and ensure the health and safety of women. We’ve defended many of these pro-life laws in court, but the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in Roe and Casey prevented some from taking effect. That changes today.”

Kentucky Auditor and GOP gubernatorial primary contender Mike Harmon also sought to garner support with his long-held position on the issue.

“Long before I became Kentucky’s Auditor, I have been an advocate for the sanctity of life,” Harmon said. “During my 13 years in the Kentucky House, I was a proud member of the pro-life caucus and worked many years alongside other legislators in sponsoring legislation to put an end to abortion.

“Today’s decision in the Dobbs case reaffirms the work of myself and other current and former state legislators, establishing Kentucky as a place where all life, both born and unborn, is protected.”

Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture and GOP gubernatorial primary contender Ryan Quarles called the ruling a “victory for the unborn as well as state’s rights.”

“The SCOTUS has returned the power to the people and we will protect all life, born and unborn,” Quarles said.

Half of the states are expected to outlaw or severely restrict abortion as a result of the Supreme Court decision.