Local reaction to SCOTUS overturning Roe v. Wade

Several organizations, politicians are chiming in on Friday's ruling

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – There’s mixed reaction coming in following Friday’s decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. Friday’s outcome is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states.

Today, Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel released the following statement:

“Life wins! Millions of Americans are celebrating today’s ruling and a pro-life movement that has worked tirelessly for decades. For a half century unelected judges have dictated America’s abortion laws. This historic ruling rightfully returns power to the American people to enact laws that protect unborn children and support mothers everywhere. As this debate now returns to the states and the American people, we know there is still much work ahead. Republicans will continue to advocate for life, uphold the law, and stand against an extreme Democrat Party’s pro-abortion agenda.”

 U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued the following statement this morning regarding the Supreme Court:

“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.

“For 50 years, states have been unable to enact even modest protections for unborn children. More than 90% of Europe restricts abortion on demand after 15 weeks, but every state in America has been forced to allow it more than a month past that, after a baby can feel pain, yawn, stretch, and suck his or her thumb. Judicial activists declared that every state had to handle abortion like China and North Korea and no state could handle it like France or Germany.

“Not anymore. Now the American people get their voice back.

“The Court has corrected a terrible legal and moral error, like when Brown v. Board overruled Plessy v. Ferguson. The Justices applied the Constitution. They carefully weighed the complex factors regarding precedent. The Court overturned mistaken rulings that even liberals have long admitted were incoherent, restoring the separation of powers. I commend the Court for its impartiality in the face of attempted intimidation.

“Democrats’ disgraceful attacks on the Court have echoed Democrats’ outrage at Brown v. Board in 1954. Today’s Democrats are jaw-droppingly extreme on abortion. 97% of Washington Democrats support legislation that would effectively require nine months of abortion on demand until the moment of birth. Only 19% of Americans share this radical view but 97% of Democrats in Congress embrace it. They would rather attack our institutions than let the American people enact the reasonable protections they want.

“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.”

The ACLU of Kentucky issued the following statement:

“If abortion is, in fact, outlawed in Kentucky, we know many people will not be able to leave the state to seek care elsewhere, and we know this reality will disproportionately harm people living at or near the poverty line, Black and Brown Kentuckians, and those without the partner, familial, or job support needed to leave the state,” said Jackie McGranahan, policy strategist for the ACLU of Kentucky.

“Whatever shifting barriers anti-abortion judges and politicians put before us, we will never stop fighting for people’s ability to make their own reproduction health care decisions, including whether and when to become parents,” said Heather Gatnarek, ACLU of Kentucky staff attorney. “No one should have the decision to remain pregnant forced upon them, which is what anti-abortion politicians seek to do.”

“The ACLU of Kentucky is bringing everything it has to the fight for abortion access following this devastating ruling,” said Amber Duke, ACLU of Kentucky interim executive director. “We are mobilizing our members, supporters, and volunteers to show up at statehouse and the ballot box to demand our rights to bodily autonomy. As we navigate a future in which the government can force Kentuckians to remain pregnant against their will, we’ll be doubling down on our work to end maternal mortality, secure paid leave, and expand access to childcare.”

Statement from David Walls, Executive Director of The Family Foundation:

“This is a historic and momentous day for human dignity and the rule of law in America. Roe v. Wade was egregiously wrong, poorly reasoned, and patently unjust—it’s reversal means that Kentucky will once again be able to protect living preborn children, enact commonsense medical safeguards for women, and better ensure the integrity of the medical profession.

“As we reflect on the work of the last 49 years and the more than 62 millions babies lost, we are grateful for the work of all those who have boldly stood for life in the womb, from churches and pregnancy resource centers to the legislature and courts of law.

“But this is only the beginning. Kentucky must pass the Yes for Life Constitutional Amendment on November 8, 2022 to ensure that no state court can ever repeat the injustice of Roe v. Wade and invent a state constitutional right to abortion or abortion funding.

“Today is a new day in Kentucky and the nation. But, this freedom to protect life comes with a great responsibility. There is more work to be done and Kentuckians—through pregnancy help centers, their local churches, and as individuals—can, and must, lead in forging a culture of life in America,” Walls concluded.

The following is a statement from co-chairs Rep. Nancy Tate, R-Brandenburg, and Sen. Robby Mills, R-Henderson, on behalf of the Kentucky Pro-Life Caucus upon the official ruling handed down by the United States Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson:

 “This is a historical and tide-turning day in the fight to protect humanity’s most innocent. Roe V. Wade was a flawed precedent that has persisted on faulty legal grounds for nearly five decades. The consequences are the premature death of tens of millions of lives we will never know and who were denied their chance to leave an impression on this world. We remember them today.

The General Assembly has championed numerous bills to protect the unborn. Some have been defended in the courts because this is what the people of Kentucky have demanded.  We are a pro-life elected body indicative of Kentucky’s pro-life values. History will shine favorably on the individuals—on both sides of the political aisle—who have taken a stand to defend those incapable of defending themselves.

Lawmakers have adhered to the constituency’s desires, doing their part in preparation for this moment. Kentucky voters have an opportunity to help wash away the dark stain Roe V. Wade has left on our nation’s history. On this November’s general election ballot, a “yes” vote for amendment #2 supports amending the Kentucky Constitution to state unequivocally that nothing in our constitution creates a right to abortion or requires government funding for it.

With the fall of Roe V. Wade’s legal precedent, we encourage all who wish to protect the unborn to stand with us, as they have before, in support of constitutional amendment #2 and vote ‘Yes for Life’ this November.”

Gov. Andy Beshear issued a statement Friday: 

“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.”
Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman issued a statement:
Today’s Supreme Court ruling means that now in Kentucky, a 12-year-old girl who is raped and impregnated by her father, has no options. It is unconscionable that this extreme, total ban provides no exception for that child or any other survivors of rape or incest.”

Attorney General Daniel Cameron today released the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

“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.

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.

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.  Their lives, and those of their mothers and families, are precious and must be met with all the compassion, kindness, and care that we can provide.”

U.S. Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) released the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson:  

“Today, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a historic victory for life.  For nearly 50 years, advocates for life have worked tirelessly to reverse Roe v. Wade, the worst example of judicial activism in the history of the Court.  Even former Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg criticized the Court’s ruling in Roe.

“Last year, I signed an Amicus Brief requesting the Supreme Court uphold the Mississippi abortion law at issue in Dobbs.  Regardless of one’s personal views on whether and under what circumstances there should be a ‘right to abortion,’ nowhere in the text of the federal Constitution is such a purported right stated or even implied, as the text was originally understood.

“The Supreme Court’s decision today affirmed that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion and that the authority to regulate abortion belongs with the American people through the democratic process.  By overturning Roe, the Court is empowering the American electorate to determine, through their elected representatives, what limits on abortion they want implemented in their state.  The majority also follows in the footsteps of prior Justices who, in the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education, courageously and correctly overturned their own disgraceful precedent in Plessy v. Ferguson.  I commend the Court for doing so.

“At the federal level, I will continue to support pro-life policies in Congress such as the Hyde Amendment, to prohibit taxpayer funding of abortions, and the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which requires medical care for babies born alive in botched abortions.”

Secretary of State Michael Adams issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision this morning to overturn Roe v. Wade: 

“Today, the Supreme Court returned the right of self-government to the States and to 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.

The Court’s decision follows a half-century of hard and diligent work by people of faith, elected officials, attorneys, and activists. As abortion will remain legal in many states, including at least one of our neighboring states, that hard and diligent work must continue, in a different form: ensuring adequate support – financial and emotional – of those facing this difficult choice.”

The following joint statement from Kentucky House and Senate Democratic Caucus Leaders Joni Jenkins and Morgan McGarvey is in response to today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

“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.  This is beyond wrong, and we stand with those who will fight with all we have to overturn this travesty as soon as possible.”

Kentucky Democratic Party Chair Colmon Elridge released the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade:

“For years, Republican politicians have pushed cruel, extreme restrictions on a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions, with no exceptions even for victims of rape and incest. Today, with Roe’s downfall, abortion is now illegal in Kentucky. This extreme ban rips away choice from those who already had the fewest options to begin with, or even none at all, including victims of violent crime.

To the women of our Commonwealth who, with the news today, are outraged and worried, know you are seen, you are heard, you are loved. While the court has rolled back rights that have been yours for almost 50 years, we will not stop fighting.

Make no mistake: they won’t stop with abortion. As a black man, as the father of a woman, as the brother of a gay man, I’ve never been in more fear for our future. This dangerous ruling lays the groundwork to dismantle our basic rights across the board. The extremists are already aiming at birth control and the rights that protect marginalized communities including women, communities of color and LGBTQ Americans are at risk.

Kentucky is ground zero in this fight. We deserve leaders who will create more opportunities for every Kentuckian, not partisan politicians who will relentlessly work to suppress your most basic freedoms just to cater to extremists in their party. If you are angry, scared, or confused, now is the time to join us in the fight against a cruel and extreme Republican party that is more concerned with taking away rights than protecting Kentucky families.”

U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) released the following statement after the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe v. Wade:

“I applaud the Supreme Court for following the rule of law and taking historic action that will help preserve the sanctity of life in America. The original Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 has resulted in approximately 63 million abortions – a moral injustice and heartbreaking loss of innocent lives nationwide. This monumental decision restores regulatory power to each state. It immediately blocks all access to abortion in states, like Kentucky, where trigger laws were enacted to put the Supreme Court’s ruling into effect simultaneously.

“Make no mistake, the Biden Administration and Washington liberals are eager to remove long-standing pro-life protections through other measures, like stripping the Hyde Amendment and the Helms Amendment from appropriations bills that prohibit tax payer dollars from being used for abortions in the United States and overseas. I will continue to fight to preserve those critical bipartisan protections, as we celebrate this great victory in the Supreme Court.”

Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) issued the statement below regarding the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health:

“We now know with certainty that three Justices lied under oath to get to the Supreme Court, and that’s not the worst part. Adding insult to perjury, they have used their ill-gotten power to strip away women’s constitutional right to bodily autonomy and rob them of personal choice. Let’s be clear: This means people will suffer. It means women will die. This is the path Mitch McConnell chose when he shredded the Constitution to rig the court with ideological zealots unbothered by the struggles of everyday Americans. This is a dark day for America. Every politician who celebrates it must be shown the door this November.”

Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02) released the following statement after the Supreme Court released its decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization:

“Today’s ruling is a significant victory and sets a new precedent for unborn babies’ right to life. Despite the biggest breach in the Supreme Court’s history and justices being unlawfully harassed at their own homes, the Supreme Court majority opinion upheld pro-life protections in the Mississippi law and overturned Roe v. Wade. The question of abortion is now up to each individual state. Despite this monumental ruling, the work is never over to protect the dignity of life, especially with congressional Democrats’ extreme efforts to allow abortion on-demand up to nine months. I will continue to stand up for the right to life, vote for polices that prohibit federal taxpayer dollars from going towards funding abortions, and always push back against congressional Democrats’ radical pro-abortion agenda for America,” said Guthrie.

More on the ruling can be found HERE.

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