Republican gubernatorial candidate Hal Heiner
Republican gubernatorial candidate Hal Heiner

Speaking before a Louisville rally of more than 100 abortion opponents on the 42nd anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion, Kentucky Republican gubernatorial candidate Hal Heiner criticized the “dreadful” decision and said he “can think of no greater cause than to value life and protect it.”

Heiner also criticized Republican leaders in the U.S. House who decided last night to cancel a scheduled vote today on a bill that would have banned all abortions across the country performed after the 20th week of pregnancy. And Heiner called on pro-choice Congressman John Yarmuth of Louisville to support the bill out of “bipartisan unity,” saying pro-choice advocates should “listen to the scientists and their ultrasounds that testify for the unborn.”

After the rally, Insider Louisville asked Heiner twice if his ultimate legislative goal is to make all abortions illegal; he did not directly address the question.

“My platform is focused on jobs and education,” Heiner said. “I am pro-life and certainly urge today our congressional delegation to take up this resolution that’s before them.”

Echoing Heiner’s comments that there is “no greater cause than to value life,” IL asked twice if he supports legislation before this session of the General Assembly that would end the death penalty in Kentucky. Heiner said he would answer that at a later time in his campaign.

“Today, we’re here talking about support for life,” Heiner said. “And we’ll have plenty of time to talk about a whole host of issues that are going to come up in this governor’s race.”

Other speakers at the rally compared abortion to Hitler and black lynchings, and said that those who are pro-choice are hypocritical “because they’ve already been born.”

Heiner will face Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott in May’s Republican primary for governor.

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Joe Sonka
Joe Sonka is a staff writer at Insider Louisville focusing on government, politics, education and public safety. He is a former news editor and staff writer at LEO Weekly and has also freelanced for The Nation and ThinkProgress. He has won first place awards from the Louisville Metro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in the categories of Health Reporting, Enterprise Reporting, Government/Politics, Minority/Women’s Affairs Reporting, Continuing Coverage and Best Blog. Email him at [email protected]