May 13, 2024 - Politics

Scoop: Kentucky's Gov. Beshear to talk reproductive rights in Nashville

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear is photographed at the state Capitol in Frankfort

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear in 2023. Photo: Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear will visit Nashville next month to speak at an event advocating for reproductive rights in Tennessee.

  • Beshear will be joined by Hadley Duvall, a rape survivor turned advocate whose story inspired "Hadley's Law," a legislative effort to reform Kentucky's near-total abortion ban.

Why it matters: Beshear's visit is at a time when reproductive rights groups are gaining momentum in organizing, but still losing legislative battles.

State of play: During its most recent session, the Republican-majority Tennessee legislature rejected a proposal to clarify that the state's strict abortion law doesn't ban fertility treatments.

  • Lawmakers passed a bill making it illegal for non-family members to drive a minor out of state for an abortion without parental consent.

Zoom in: The Tennessee Freedom Circle, which formed after the U.S. Supreme Court's Dobbs ruling, will host the June 21 event.

What she's saying: Tyler Chance Yarbro, co-founder of the Tennessee Freedom Circle, said in a statement she hopes the event with Beshear and Duvall will serve "as a beacon of hope, rallying individuals committed to advocating for compassionate and sensible policies that respect reproductive freedom and support survivors."

Zoom out: Beshear is the political rarity of a Democrat leading a conservative state with an abortion ban. Earlier this year, he backed legislation to add exceptions for rape, incest and nonviable pregnancies to Kentucky's ban. The bill failed to advance in the Kentucky legislature.

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