FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Just moments after the Kentucky Legislature voted to override Governor Andy Beshear's veto of House Bill 3, the omnibus anti-abortion bill, Planned Parenthood, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced they plan to challenge the bill in court.
HB 3, which would ban abortions after 15 weeks and restrict how medication abortion is dispensed, overcame the governor's veto Wednesday. The Senate gave final approval to the bill, voting to override the veto by a vote of 31-6.
Standing up to explain his 'yes' vote, Senator Stephen Meredith (R) called abortion a "stain upon our country."
"It's our greatest sin," Sen. Meredith said.
Senators who voted against the override reiterated arguments they had made in the past, including that they believe it would threaten the reproductive health of women and would put an end to safe and legal abortion in the state.
"I beg my colleagues to think about what they're doing," said Senator Karen Berg (D). "When I say you are killing women, I'm not talking theoretically. I am talking actual women."
Berg and other opponents noted that HB 3 does not have an exception for victims of rape and incest.
Planned Parenthood and the ACLU said their lawsuits will argue that "the law would create unnecessary abortion requirements while simultaneously making those requirements impossible to comply with given the immediate effective date of the law, forcing providers in the state to stop offering abortion services."
"We urge the court to block this law immediately and ensure that people in Kentucky can continue to access abortion care," said Brigitte Amiri, deputy director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project.
Proponents of HB 3 touted the legislature's override.
The Family Foundation said HB 3 "proves once again that Kentucky is a pro-life state which cares deeply for the health and safety of mothers and their unborn children."
"Gov. Beshear's veto was a purely political decision which would have undermined the doctor-patient relationship that many women rely upon and dangerously substitute it for 'do-it-yourself' mail-order abortion," said David Walls, the executive director of The Family Foundation.