Kentucky voters rejected a ballot measure that said there is no right to an abortion in the state’s constitution and therefore no required funding of abortion.
Filed Under: Politics

Kentucky rejects amendment stating there is no right to an abortion

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Kentucky voters rejected a ballot measure that said there is no right to an abortion in the state’s constitution and therefore no required funding of abortion. Kentuckians were asked, are you in favor of the following: “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?”

According to state Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s office, the amendment does not ban abortion in Kentucky. Cameron wrote in an advisory that it guarantees the general assembly creates laws regarding abortion, not courts.

“Adding the language of Amendment #2 to the Kentucky Constitution means the General Assembly retains the authority to modify the scope of existing abortion law, including to expand, the legality of abortion,” Cameron wrote. 

The attorney general’s advisory also stated the amendment clarifies how the constitution should be interpreted by current and future courts. Cameron said the amendment clarifies the balance of power between the assembly and courts by “providing certainty for judges about the ability of the General Assembly to enact abortion laws.”

There are five states with abortion-related ballot measures: California, Michigan and Vermont have pro-choice measures; Kentucky and Montana have pro-life measures. Although Montana’s referendum does not regulate abortion itself, it guarantees that all infants receive medical treatment, including those who survived an attempted abortion. 

Kentucky voters rejected a ballot measure that said there is no right to an abortion in the state’s constitution and therefore no required funding of abortion. Kentuckians were asked, are you in favor of the following: “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?”

According to state Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s office, the amendment does not ban abortion in Kentucky. Cameron wrote in an advisory that it guarantees the general assembly creates laws regarding abortion, not courts.

“Adding the language of Amendment #2 to the Kentucky Constitution means the General Assembly retains the authority to modify the scope of existing abortion law, including to expand, the legality of abortion,” Cameron wrote. 

The attorney general’s advisory also stated the amendment clarifies how the constitution should be interpreted by current and future courts. Cameron said the amendment clarifies the balance of power between the assembly and courts by “providing certainty for judges about the ability of the General Assembly to enact abortion laws.”

There are five states with abortion-related ballot measures: California, Michigan and Vermont have pro-choice measures; Kentucky and Montana have pro-life measures. Although Montana’s referendum does not regulate abortion itself, it guarantees that all infants receive medical treatment, including those who survived an attempted abortion. 


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