Governor’s actions not consistent with image he projects

To the editor:

As Governor Andy Beshear continues his daily talks to the Commonwealth, seeking to establish his image as a leader in these days, I confess my concern that he fails to observe and respect the distinction between being a leader and being a dictator. Among governors across the nation these last two months or so, he is unfortunately not alone as to this confusion about leadership, with like minded examples from California to Illinois to New York, to name a few.

In reflection on the proceedings of the recently concluded legislative session in Kentucky, my misgivings as to Governor Beshear’s principles in the conduct of his office were markedly demonstrated with the matter of Senate Bill 9. This bill established that any infant born alive, including an infant surviving alive from an abortion procedure, would be given essential medical care in support of that life. The bill also assured that the Attorney General had authority to enforce the statutes of Kentucky regarding abortion and abortion providers.

I am dismayed that we would need to enact legislation to assure that any infant born alive receive basic medical care — that would seem to be basic human compassion. I also understood that one of the fundamental functions of the Attorney General was to investigate violations of state statutes and prosecute violations, especially where public health and safety are at issue.

As we see Governor Beshear daily presenting himself as profoundly committed to the life, health, and safety of the citizens of the Commonwealth, his actions in this arena are not consistent with the image he seeks to project for himself. While mandating that hospitals and health care practitioners cease from providing any elective or non-emergency procedures, his administration made no such mandate on abortion providers in the state. While hypothetically there might be an abortion that would be an emergency procedure for saving the life of the mother, but I am sure that you could count on less than one hand how many of the 600-plus abortions which have been performed since Governor Beshear’s mandate that could even come close to being considered an emergency procedure. After all, the whole “abortion rights” movement is predicated on the asserted right to elective abortion.

Returning to the matter of Senate Bill 9, this bill had final passage by both houses of the General Assembly on April 15, the last day of the session. Later in the month, Governor Beshear vetoed the bill, without explanation to my knowledge. Now important to note is that the bill was passed in the House by a 70-16 vote, and in the Senate by a 30-2 vote — indicative of overwhelming bipartisan support. The legislature having adjourned, there was no opportunity to override this veto, which would surely have happened in light of the recorded votes for passage.

So what we have here is Governor Beshear playing the role of the protector of life and health in the Commonwealth, while trashing by veto a bill that was a simple protection of infant life and affirming the role of the Attorney General in assuring the observance of statutes and regulations regarding the provision of health services, including abortions. And this he does as he mandates cessation of elective non-emergency medical procedures, while exempting elective abortion providers from that mandate. Furthermore, his veto of duly enacted legislation by an overwhelming bipartisan vote shows his contempt and disregard for the will citizens of the Commonwealth and their elected representatives.

This testimony and witness we have now to the character of Governor Beshear’s administration, with another three years before we get to vote as to our judgment of his rule in Kentucky.

Franklin Stevenson

Madisonville

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