The truth: what Kentucky’s proposed pro-life constitutional amendment does and does not do

By Dave Andrusko

Over the weekend, two pro-life Kentucky state Senators explained the state’s proposed constitutional amendment that will be on the ballot this fall in an op-ed for Kentucky Today in the process debunking pro-abortion distortions.

As state Senators Alvarado and Wise explained

Voters have an opportunity to affirm unequivocally, that there is no inherent constitutional right to an abortion in the Constitution of Kentucky. While this issue is often divisive, we want to clarify what this amendment does and does not do.

The Amendment says straightforwardly: “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.” 

What does that mean? According to the state senators 

Constitutional Amendment 2 simply does two things: it says that under the Kentucky Constitution, abortion is not a right and it prevents state funding from being used to perform them. By voting yes on this amendment, you are keeping judges from creating new constitutional rights not explicitly addressed nor even implied in our founding state document.  This amendment will continue to protect the woman’s life if a pregnancy is to be a medical risk to her life. 

Of course, opponents distort and practice fear-mongering on a massive stage. As Alvarado and Wise patiently explain,

To be perfectly clear, any time the mother’s life is in danger, a medical doctor is bound by the Hippocratic Oath to preserve life. When passed, this amendment will not prevent doctors from performing life-saving emergency medical procedures on pregnant women. Doctors will not go to jail for removing an ectopic pregnancy, as it is fatal for the fetus since life cannot survive outside of the uterus; it is also severely life-threatening for the mother if the embryo implants in the fallopian tube. Quick treatment is vital to protect the mother’s life. Doctors have and will continue to be able to perform emergency procedures or provide aid to a woman with a naturally occurring miscarriage.

They add

This constitutional amendment does not prevent the legislature from drafting and passing additional, clarifying abortion laws in this commonwealth. 

Finally, what does a vote in favor of the Amendment mean and what could happen if the Amendment is defeated?

A vote of “yes” on Constitutional Amendment 2 is not a debate of whether or not you believe in abortion; a vote of “yes” on this amendment is a statement that you do not want issues related to abortion in the hands of judicial regulators.  Rather, you want the duly elected members of the General Assembly to be able to respond to the will of their voters on this matter.  If the amendment does not pass, it would give abortion activists and judges the ability to challenge and shoot down every abortion-restricting law that has already been passed.  Sadly, this would even open up the possibility to late-term abortions in Kentucky. 

As The Yes for Life Alliance recently wrote

Kentucky’s ProLife Amendment is as simple as it is profound. With a few short words, this amendment can protect life, safeguard your tax dollars from paying for abortions and shore up our framework of commonsense, prolife laws from activist judges. …

The need for constitutional protections for the right to life is urgent. At this moment, pro-abortion activists are in state courts asking judges to “invent” a right to abortion. They want to tear down decades of Kentucky’s prolife laws and take us one step closer to extreme abortion on demand.

Pro-life Kentuckians are determined not to let that happen!