Kentucky’s near-total abortion ban takes center stage in gubernatorial election

Abortion access has rarely been a focal point for Democrats in Kentucky, but that’s all changing in the run up to this November’s gubernatorial election.

In the past few weeks, incumbent Governor Andy Beshear, a Democrat, has turned the issue into a centerpiece of his campaign against his opponent, Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who has vocally supported Kentucky’s near-total ban on abortion.

As written, that law currently includes exceptions only for risk of death or debilitating injury to the pregnant person.

It has no exceptions for cases of rape and incest– something Beshear has seized on, prompting Cameron to come out for the first time saying he would sign legislation to add these exceptions to the existing law.

New campaign ads pack an emotional punch

In a new ad, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse looks straight into the camera as she describes the sexual abuse she suffered from her step-father when she was12-years-old.

“Anyone who believes there should be no exceptions for rape and incest could never understand what it’s like to stand in my shoes,” she says.

“This is to you, Daniel Cameron. To tell a 12-year-old girl she must have the baby of her stepfather, who raped her, is unthinkable. I’m speaking out because women and girls need to have options. Daniel Cameron would give us none.”

The woman, identified in the ad as Hadley from Owensboro, KY, calls out Republican candidate Daniel Cameron for his support for the current abortion ban, which has no exceptions for rape and incest.

Timothy D. Easley / AP

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AP

The woman, identified in the ad as Hadley from Owensboro, KY, calls out Republican candidate Daniel Cameron for his support for the current abortion ban, which has no exceptions for rape and incest.

The ad follows another from Beshear attacking Cameron’s abortion stance, which focused on a Louisville prosecutor who says Cameron prioritizes the rights of rapists over their victims.

At a gubernatorial forum Wednesday night, both candidates were asked to

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