He added that the potential legal action against the measure, which “would be pulling people one way or another, creating discord in the middle of a time where we’ve got to be together, I just didn’t think was the right direction for us to go.”
But the bill could also have had timely impacts on abortion access during the coronavirus crisis. It would have allowed the state’s attorney general to pursue legal action against abortion facilities to “prevent, penalize, and remedy violations” of abortion regulations — a move that, currently requiring approval from the secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, would have ceded power from the governor’s office.
The ban includes exceptions to prevent the death or “a serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman,” but not for rape or incest. A federal judge temporarily blocked it after the American Civil Liberties Union challenged it in court.