Beshear Administration failed to implement parts of HB 3 by deadline, including regulations for abortion-inducing drugs and development of abortion reporting forms
Editor’s note. The following statement was issued yesterday by the Attorney General’s office. By way of background, Bruce Schreiner of the Associated Press wrote that “Attorney General Daniel Cameron said in his lawsuit against Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s administration that state officials are still obligated to craft regulations and create forms associated with the new law’s restrictions, even though a federal judge temporarily halted its enforcement while the case is litigated. Cameron, who has filed paperwork to run for governor himself next year, said that order didn’t relieve the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services from fulfilling its ‘statutory responsibilities.’”
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Attorney General Daniel Cameron has taken legal action against the Beshear Administration for failing to implement provisions of House Bill 3 (HB 3), a law passed earlier this year by the General Assembly to protect unborn life and promote the health and safety of women. The lawsuit, filed in Franklin Circuit Court, argues that the Beshear Administration is required to enforce the law and must comply with the requirements set forth in HB 3 by the General Assembly.
“Governor Beshear has a duty to faithfully execute the law, but he has failed to implement important provisions of House Bill 3,” said Attorney General Cameron. “His Administration is required to create forms and set forth regulations that protect women’s health and unborn babies, including regulating abortion-inducing drugs. Failure to act is not an option, and our lawsuit asks the court to direct the Governor and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services [CHFS] to follow the law.”
Under the provisions of HB 3, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services is required to take numerous steps to implement the law, including creating and distributing various reporting forms within sixty days of the bill’s April 13, 2022, effective date. The law also requires CHFS to promulgate administrative regulations to oversee the distribution and dispensing of abortion-inducing drugs and to aid in the interment of fetal remains.
In the lawsuit, the Attorney General writes, “The Commonwealth is irreparably injured when it cannot enforce ‘statutes enacted by representatives of its people.’ Furthermore, the inability to enforce HB 3 irretrievably harms the women and unborn children it was enacted to protect.”
HB 3 was passed by the General Assembly during the 2022 legislative session and was later vetoed by the Governor. Following the General Assembly’s override of the Governor’s veto, the law was challenged by Planned Parenthood and EMW Women’s Surgical Center in federal district court.
Attorney General Cameron is currently defending the law on behalf of Kentuckians. The federal court has explicitly stated that even though parts of the law are temporarily halted while the litigation proceeds, that does not relieve the Cabinet of its obligation to act to fulfill its statutory responsibilities.
View the filings here.