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Politicians react to Dobbs decision, which makes nearly all abortions illegal in Ky.

EMW Women's Surgical center in downtown Louisville is one of only two abortion providers in the state of Kentucky.
EMW Women's Surgical center in downtown Louisville is one of only two abortion providers in the state of Kentucky.

On Friday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case and effectively overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark case that provided federal protection for a person’s right to choose an abortion. This decision makes abortion illegal in Kentucky in almost all circumstances.

Kentucky politicians reacted swiftly to the decision.

The Republican-led legislature passed an omnibus abortion bill last session. It's been held up in court, but Kentucky's trigger law now makes it moot.

In November, a constitutional amendment that would declare that Kentucky’s constitution does not protect the right to an abortion will be on the ballot.

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear: “Today’s decision triggers an extremist Kentucky law that creates a total ban in Kentucky that will eliminate all options for victims of rape or incest. 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,”

Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron: “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.  …

We are entering a new era. No longer will unelected judges make abortion policy for the Commonwealth. Instead, our elected representatives will be able to make public policy that reflects the values of Kentuckians and our deeply held respect for unborn life.

Together, we must commit ourselves to caring for the next generation of Kentuckians who will now have a chance to live their lives because Roe v. Wade is no more.”

U.S. Senate Minority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell: “The Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Dobbs is courageous and correct. This is an historic victory for the Constitution and for the most vulnerable in our society. …

Millions of Americans have spent half a century praying, marching, and working toward today’s historic victories for the rule of law and for innocent life. I have been proud to stand with them throughout our long journey and I share their joy today.”

Republican U.S. Senator Rand Paul: "This Supreme Court decision is a monumental step to not only protect life but also for the court to finally correct the mistake it made and return governance back to the people and their elected representatives."

Democratic Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer: “As a strong supporter of a woman’s right to control her body, her healthcare and her reproductive choices, I am absolutely disgusted by the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade. ...

I urge Congress to immediately pursue legislative remedies to ensure women and girls have the reproductive health care they deserve. We must fight this horrendous action."

Democratic nominee for Louisville mayor Craig Greenberg: “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.

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.

As Mayor, I will do everything within the city’s power to limit the damage of this decision.”

Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams: “Today, the Supreme Court returned the right to self-government to the States and the People, as contemplated by the Constitution. In Kentucky this fall, our people will have the opportunity to express their view on this issue, via Constitutional Amendment Two.”

Democratic State Sen. Karen Berg: “Today’s decision is disastrously wrong and devastating for Kentucky women. In an unprecedented move, the Court has taken a guaranteed right away and has now placed politicians firmly in control of our bodies. For Kentuckians, this means women will now need to travel hundreds of miles to get the healthcare they need. …

This decision will have a profound impact on millions of Americans, and while we are furious today, I will never stop fighting for the rights of people to make their own healthcare decisions.”

Kentucky House and Senate Democratic Caucus Leaders Joni Jenkins and Morgan McGarvey: “Mark our words: Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision on abortion will be seen in the future as our era’s Plessy v. Ferguson. This abhorrent ruling erases nearly 50 years of the court’s own precedents while sending women’s reproductive rights — and risking others like same-sex marriage and rights to contraception — back to the 1700s; it goes against the views of a durable majority of Americans; and, most critically, it needlessly and cruelly threatens the lives of millions of women while telling them they no longer have authority over their own bodies.

Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Charles Booker: “Today is a dark and heartbreaking day in our country’s history.”

Republican State Rep. Nancy Tate, who sponsored the omnibus anti-abortion bill: "Today marks a historic moment in the fight to protect our most vulnerable. With this ruling in the Dobbs case, the Supreme Court of the United States validates decades of assertions that there is no place in a document that seeks to secure ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness' for a procedure that serves no purpose other than to end the life of an innocent human being. …

The Kentucky General Assembly is the most pro-life in the Commonwealth’s history and we will continue to advocate for those who have no voice.”

Republican State Rep. Hal Rogers: “I applaud SCOTUS for following the rule of law & taking historic action that will help preserve the sanctity of life in America. Roe v. Wade has resulted in approximately 63 million abortions since 1973 — a moral injustice and heartbreaking loss of innocent lives nationwide.”

Republican State Rep. and gubernatorial candidate Savannah Maddox: “One of the greatest lies ever told is that killing an unborn life is a woman’s reproductive right. The federal government has the Constitutional obligation to protect both life and liberty, and now the states have the opportunity to carry out their responsibilities.”

This story was updated.

Divya is LPM's Race & Equity Reporter. Email Divya at dkarthikeyan@lpm.org.

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