Pro-life amendment rejected by Kentucky voters

Amendment Two would have had impact on future abortion rulings

Pro-life amendment rejected by Kentucky voters

Josie Whalen

Voters in Kentucky have rejected a ballot measure that would have explicitly excluded any perceived right to abortion from the state constitution.

Constitutional rights of abortions have been questioned and argued recently after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022.

This eliminated federal standards on abortion access which had been a constitutional right since 1973 and caused trigger laws to arise in states.

The term “trigger law” is an informal name for a law that is written to go into effect when a specific event or condition occurs.

The term is often used discussion of abortion access and how state laws would go into effect after the ruling.

Laws like this popped up in 13 states including Kentucky. According to the Guttmacher Institute, Kentucky is the only one of three where the ban goes into effect immediately upon the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Voters in the states have had to vote on new amendments and laws trying to come into effect such as Kentucky’s Amendment Two.

Amendment Two was an amendment that would state, “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.” The measure would have added section 26A to the state constitution’s bill of rights.

On Nov. 8, the people of Kentucky voted on Amendment Two either yes, supporting the amendment, or no, opposing the amendment. Kentucky voters said “no” to blocking abortion access in the state constitution

After the votes were counted, they added up to 47.7% yes and 52.3% no, rejection of the amendment means that a lawsuit challenging statewide restrictions will be able to move forward.

Although Amendment Two was defeated, Kentucky still remains a “pro-life” state. Currently there are no legal abortions allowed in the state.

Rachel Sweet, campaign manager of Protect Kentucky Access, says even though this is a huge step in reproductive rights, there is still a lot of work to be done.

Meanwhile Todd Gray, executive director-treasurer of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, said the battle to keep abortion illegal in the state will continue despite the setback.

Both sides continue to fight for what they believe in but the one thing they can agree on is they need the people on their side. In fact, Yes For Life raised $952,000 for campaigning meanwhile, Protect Kentucky Access raised $5.2 million.

Michigan along with Vermont and California voted to protect the right to abortion by ensuring it is in the state constitution. Montana and Kansas defeated the similar amendments as Kentucky.