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Ky. lawmakers react to Supreme Court Roe v. Wade leak; what it means for commonwealth

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Published: May. 3, 2022 at 11:18 AM CDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - If the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade this summer, abortions could effectively come to an end in Kentucky.

On Monday night, a draft opinion was leaked from the Supreme Court that suggests it may overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide.

Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday confirmed the authenticity of a leaked draft opinion before ordering an investigation into what he called an “egregious breach of trust.”

If the ruling were overturned, that would give the decision of allowing or outlawing abortions to the state level.

If the court’s decision goes through, Kentucky’s trigger law would take effect. Former Governor Matt Bevin signed the law in 2019. It’s designed to ban all abortions if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

The ACLU of Kentucky is not sure the justices will actually vote to overturn it.

“Otherwise we are pretty devastated. That opinion is as bad as we thought it might be. And it does threaten the lives of Kentuckians,” said Angela Cooper, ACLU of Kentucky.

Kentucky lawmakers have been making statements on the leaked draft.

While speaking at the Lexington Chamber of Commerce Tuesday morning, Kentucky Majority Floor Leader Sen. Damon Thayer said, “I think we have known with the shift in the membership of the Kentucky Supreme Court that Roe V. Wade’s days are potentially numbered. We have a populace in the commonwealth that is very conservative and pro-life.”

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell issued this statement regarding the leaked draft opinion:

Governor Andy Beshear said in a statement he believes abortion being made illegal will create other problems:

Voters will actually have an abortion-related question on their ballots this year. It will ask people if they favor an addition to the state constitution stating there is no right to an abortion or funding of abortion

The ACLU says if the procedure is banned in Kentucky, people will simply travel to other states to receive them.

Planned Parenthood of Kentucky and Indiana also released a statement saying, in part, that “what’s coming is dangerous and will open the floodgates for states across the country to ban abortion, devastating communities nationwide.”

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