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

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J. Tyler Franklin
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The EMW Women's Surgical Center is an abortion provider in downtown Louisville.

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.”

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.”

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.”

Senate Minority Leader and Democratic nominee for Kentucky’s Third Congressional District Morgan McGarvey: “Today, the Supreme Court rolled back 49 years of precedent and put politicians in control of women’s bodies. With this ruling, abortions in Kentucky are now illegal—even for victims of rape and incest. This is wrong. …

Choice is on the ballot this November. 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 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.”

This story will be updated.