Kentucky voters will decide today whether state constitution includes a right to abortion

By Dave Andrusko

The voters of Kentucky are voting today on ballot measure #2 which would affirm that there is no state right to abortion in Kentucky’s constitution.  Kentucky Amendment 2 states: “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.”

Of course, supporters have been outspent by millions but the cause is just and the enthusiasm infectious.

As have many abortion advocates, once the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, they took their case to state court seeking to establish it as a right under the state constitution.

“The state’s two abortion providers, Planned Parenthood and EMW Women’s surgical center, the latter represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, have filed suit seeking to have abortion declared a state right,” according to Deborah Yetter. “Abortion, except for a medical emergency, remains banned while the case is pending

“Jefferson Circuit Judge Mitch Perry ruled in favor of abortion rights, issuing a temporary injunction against Kentucky’s trigger law and another banning abortion after six weeks,” Yetter reported.

Addia Wuchner, RN, Executive Director of Kentucky Right to Life, criticized Judge Perry’s decision as “an exercise in raw judicial power on behalf of the abortion industry.”

As a starting point, there is no right to an abortion in the Commonwealth’s constitution. When courts interpret that document, they look to the express language. Since its ratification in 1891, Kentucky’s constitution has never contained the word “abortion” or any reference to protecting abortion. And courts may neither add to nor take from the express words and plain meaning of that document.

However, Attorney General Daniel Cameron appealed Judge Perry’s order. Cameron argued “that the circuit court’s decision halting enforcement of these pro-life laws, which has been stayed by the Court of Appeals, should be permanently overruled because regulating abortion is a matter that should be left to the people’s representatives in the General Assembly.”

The decision was suspended while the state Supreme Court considers the case.