NewsCovering Kentucky


The battle over abortion rights continues in November

AP Poll Abortion
Posted at 5:13 PM, Jun 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-27 17:14:47-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — When the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe v Wade, it struck down the federal right to abortion and triggered Kentucky's abortion ban.

Since that moment, Kentucky's law has ended abortion services in the Commonwealth. The only exception that remains is for the mother's health. Not even rape and incest are listed as exceptions.

But abortion-rights advocates have filed a lawsuit on Monday to have abortion rights re-established under Kentucky's constitution.

“The Supreme Court’s decision to take away a right we have relied on for 50 years has caused devastation in Kentucky and across the country,” said Brigitte Amiri, deputy director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “We hope the court blocks Kentucky’s abortion bans to prevent the life-altering harm they are causing."

The lawsuit asks the court to block Kentucky's abortion ban because it conflicts with rights granted by the state constitution. The lawsuit argues Kentucky's constitution protects abortion through the right to privacy and bodily autonomy.

However, any court action resulting from this lawsuit may not stand for long. Because this November, voters will either yes or no to add anti-abortion language to the state's constitution.

If voters say yes to Amendment 2, this text will be added to the state's constitution: "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."

If voters say no, the text will not be added.

Abortion-rights advocates hope Kentuckians vote no.

"We can take back the narrative," said Tamarra Wieder of Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates. "Kentucky, this is our moment."

But those who are against abortion rights hope voters put an end to abortion services.

"They’ll have the opportunity to cast their vote to make sure it’s clear that our constitution does not support abortion or the funding thereof," said Addia Wucher with Kentucky Right to Life.

"It’s important that from a legislative perspective that we’ve passed these laws," said Republican Rep. Nancy Tate, a prominent anti-abortion lawmaker. "But this will give the voters - our constituents - the opportunity to solidify our decisions in the constitution."