October 1, 2022 | Opinion

Together, let’s ensure that Kentucky’s unborn are protected for years to come

Jason D. Hall is the executive director of Catholic Conference of Kentucky. COURTESY OF CCK

BY JASON D. HALL, SPECIAL TO THE WESTERN KENTUCKY CATHOLIC

On November 8, 2022, Kentucky voters have a unique opportunity to take a stand for the sanctity of life.

On June 24, the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established access to abortion as a constitutional right. For almost 50 years, the courts have set the parameters of the abortion debate. In many ways, Roe created the abortion debate as we have known it these past five decades. Now that it’s gone, the debate has moved to the states.

Kentucky has a long history of enacting pro-life legislation. The General Assembly has enacted a strong informed consent statute, restrictions on abortion after 20 weeks, and more recently 15 weeks.

Most significant, however, is HB 148 from the 2019 session. In HB 148, legislators enacted what is known as a “trigger law.” It is called that because it was written to take effect (or “trigger”) when the Supreme Court overturned Roe. That law immediately took effect and prohibited all abortions that are not necessary to save the life or health of the mother.

Kentucky’s two abortion providers filed suit in Kentucky courts, arguing for a right to abortion under the Kentucky Constitution. On July 22, Jefferson Circuit Judge Mitch Perry agreed and prevented the trigger law from being enforced for a time, temporarily allowing abortions to continue. The Court of Appeals vacated that injunction and the law is currently in effect, but ultimately this will be decided by the Kentucky Supreme Court.

If the abortion providers prevail, it would result in a state-level Roe v. Wade decision, striking down most or all of the pro-life laws listed above.

Kentucky is not the first state to see this problem arise. In recent years, Iowa and Kansas have seen their state courts declare that their constitutions protect a right to abortion, striking down the pro-life laws passed by their state legislatures.

We can prevent this from happening here. This November, voters will be asked to approve a constitutional amendment that will prevent our state courts from ever issuing a decision like Roe v. Wade. The amendment is very simple and straightforward. It says:

“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.”

On the ballot, this will be Amendment #2, presented to the voters as a yes/no question. This is a unique opportunity to express a clear pro-life vote.

Remember to vote. Remember to go to the end of the ballot to vote YES on Amendment #2. Remind friends and family to vote YES. Consider volunteering to speak at your parish or other events during this October’s Respect Life month, in the weeks leading up to the election.

This is an exciting time for the cause of life. If we can educate and turn out the vote, we can ensure that the Kentucky’s unborn are protected for many years to come.

Jason D. Hall is the executive director of Catholic Conference of Kentucky. Learn more at ccky.org.

Vote YES for life!

Election day is November 8, 2022.

Remember to vote YES on Amendment #2 – Kentucky’s Pro-Life Constitutional Amendment.

This is what you will see on the ballot:

“Are you in favor of amending the Constitution of Kentucky by creating a new Section of the Constitution to be numbered Section 26A to state as follows: 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?”

Official website: yesforlifeky.com – Sign up to receive more information or make a donation to support the campaign!


Originally printed in the October 2022 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.

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