LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville's Democratic candidate for mayor has released his first television attack ad, taking aim at his opponents stance -- or lack thereof -- on abortion law and how he'd approach policing those who provide or seek out the procedure.
In the TV spot funded by his campaign, Craig Greenberg accused Republican candidate and current Jeffersontown Mayor Bill Dieruf of being backed by "anti-choice extremists," who support outlawing abortions all-together with no exceptions for rape or incest. The ad notes a $250 campaign donation Dieruf received from Louisville Right to Life in August 2021.
“And Dieruf won’t say if he’ll stop Louisville Police from arresting women seeking abortions,” the ad said.
On Tuesday, WHAS11 spoke with Dieruf for his response. He called the accusations disingenuous and divisive, maintaining his view that this is a state and national issue.
"He doesn't realize the purview of the mayor, the mayor has nothing to do with national," Dieruf said. "I don't want ever to have a person to have to have an abortion, but I believe Frankfort will probably come up with some exceptions of rape, incest, life of the mother and life of the child."
When asked how he’d approach policing those seeking out the procedure, Dieruf said in large part that's not his decision to make.
"Whatever laws are out there, we have to enforce them until Frankfort or the federal government changes them," he said. "It will be a medical board deciding whether a doctor keeps his license or not. The mayor and police have nothing to do with it, so for him to be disingenuous and start stating that I'm going to arrest pregnant women is a lie."
Dieruf did imply he believes exceptions for rape or incest should exist, but didn't give his stance on Kentucky Constitutional Amendment 2 -- which would effectively eliminate a constitutional right to an abortion within the state if passed in November.
Dieruf wants to keep the mayor's race and that vote separate.
Meanwhile, for months Greenberg has encouraged Kentuckians to vote down Amendment 2.
"As the mayor of Louisville, there is a key responsibility on this issue now more than ever," Greenberg told us on Tuesday. "We will not be seeking to arrest women or doctors."
Abortion is one of the most debated topics on voters’ minds as they prepare to cast their ballots.
In a statement, Kentucky Right to Life Executive Director Addia Wuchner called the ad a "move by the left's radical agenda," to confuse voters by mixing state and local policies in areas they don't apply.
On the other hand, Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates says the city's mayor could have a say in keeping women and providers safe from prosecution.
"One thing the mayor can do is tell the county attorney not to press charges," said Tamarra Wieder, the group's state director in Kentucky. "As the landscape continuously changes, we need to have every legal mechanism or power, like the mayor's power, supportive of abortion care."