Daniel Cameron backtracks on abortion as election for Kentucky governor nears
The Republican gubernatorial nominee, who once said he wanted to ban abortion in cases of rape or incest, now says he would allow those exceptions.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is backtracking on his no-exceptions anti-abortion position, saying in a Monday interview that he would support exceptions in cases of rape or incest in his state’s draconian abortion ban.
Cameron made the comment in an interview on a local Kentucky talk radio program, when hosts Tony Vanetti and Dwight Witten asked him to respond to attack ads that say he would ban abortion in almost all instances.
“Look, I’m going to make sure that we have a culture of life here, but the things that have been said in these ads, they are shameful,” said Cameron, who is running against Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear in November.
“If someone rapes a child, we are going to go after them with the full force of the law, and that should never happen,” Cameron said. “And if our Legislature was to bring legislation before me that provided exceptions for rape and incest, I would sign that legislation, there’s no question about that.”
The statement is a 180-degree change from a little more than a year ago, when Cameron said he would not support exceptions for rape or incest in abortion bans.
In a news conference on June 24, 2022, the same day the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that had affirmed the right to an abortion in the United States, Cameron said: “Abortion is, for all intents and purposes, over here in the commonwealth, with the exception of life. There is no rape and incest exception.”
Kentucky has one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the country, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
After the Supreme Court overturned Roe, abortion automatically became banned in the state, except in cases in which the life of the pregnant person is at risk.
In March, Cameron was asked during a Republican primary debate about potential exceptions to the state’s abortion ban. He said,“I support the current law.”
It’s unclear why Cameron changed his position less than two months out from the election.
However, in November 2022 voters in Kentucky rejected by a margin of 52% to 48% a proposed constitutional amendment that said: “To protect human life, nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.”
While Kentucky votes overwhelmingly Republican at the federal level, Beshear won the governor’s race in 2019 by less than 1 point, defeating Republican incumbent Matt Bevin.
In the years since, Beshear has become one of the most popular governors in the country, according to a survey conducted in July by Morning Consult.
Polls in the governor’s race show Beshear with a steady lead against Cameron.
Inside Elections, the nonpartisan political analysis outlet, rates it a Tilt Democratic contest.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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