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How Amendment 2 could change future abortion access in Kentucky

Kentucky Legislature
Posted at 7:00 PM, Oct 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-05 18:18:41-04

LEX 18 — Voters will soon have a say in the future of abortion access in Kentucky.


They will be able to vote yes or no on Constitutional Amendment 2 in November's election. The amendment asks voters if they want to put this sentence into the state 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 the amendment is passed, the constitution will be changed to include anti-abortion language. However, the amendment itself does not equal an abortion ban.

So, what does it do?

It impacts how Kentucky's courts can interpret Kentucky's constitution. If Kentucky's abortion bans are legally challenged, courts would not be able to interpret a right to abortion within the constitution.

That leaves the Kentucky General Assembly entirely in charge of abortion access in the state. State lawmakers already outlawed abortion under the state's trigger law, which took effect after the United State Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade in June.

However, a lawsuit, which seeks to establish abortion as a state right, is pending in court. So, if voters reject Constitutional Amendment 2, they will keep open the possibility of abortion being established as a state right.

However, if voters approve the amendment, it will eliminate abortion rights from the state's constitution. That would cut off the current legal challenges.