Kentucky Rejects Constitutional Amendment Against Abortion

On the steps of the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky, on October 1, 2022, before a rally urging voters to vote in favor of the Second Amendment, which would add a permanent ban on abortion to the Kentucky Constitution. , opposition protesters hold up signs.

Stephanie Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images

In a surprise victory for Reproductive Rights, conservative Kentucky voters rejected an amendment to the state constitution that would shield the state’s abortion ban from legal challenge, NBC News predicted.

About 52% of those who voted in the midterm elections rejected an amendment that would deny the right to abortion under the state constitution.

Kentucky banned abortion shortly after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June. The amendment, which was put before voters, was an attempt by anti-abortion activists to protect the state’s ban from legal challenge by making it impregnable under the state constitution.

Abortion remains illegal in Kentucky, but the rejection of the constitutional amendment makes it easier for reproductive rights activists to challenge the ban in state courts.

“This is a victory for physical autonomy and the right of every Kentuckian to make their own best decisions, but the battle is not over,” said Amber Duke, executive director of Kentucky’s ACLU. says. “We will continue to fight in state courts to restore access to abortion federally.”

Kentucky’s rejection of the amendment shows the limits of anti-abortion politics even in conservative states. Coalitions opposing the Protected Kentucky Access Amendment launched a moderate campaign to persuade conservatives who believed abortion procedures were necessary in some circumstances while supporting abortion restrictions.

Kentucky’s abortion ban makes performing a medical procedure a crime punishable by up to five years in prison. There are no exceptions for rape or incest, but when the mother’s life is in danger. Under Kentucky law, a woman cannot be prosecuted for having an abortion.

Kentucky has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton in 1996. Republican Senator Mitch McConnell has represented Washington state since his 1985.

Kentucky’s defeat of the anti-abortion ballot measure is the second surprise victory for abortion rights in a conservative state since the Supreme Court overturned Roe. In August, Kansas voters vehemently rejected a bill that would strip the state’s constitution of abortion rights.

Other States Protect Abortion

In another key victory for reproductive rights, Michigan voted to protect abortion as a right under the state constitution. This is after Law’s downfall made it more likely that the 91-year-old ban on abortion would come into force again.

Michigan will now become an important safe haven for women seeking abortions in the Midwest.

California and Vermont also voted to protect abortion as a constitutional right in the midterm elections. Reproductive rights were never in jeopardy in these hardened liberal nations, but the amendments will ensure access to abortion for future generations.

Nearly 60% of midterm voters nationwide say abortion should be legal, according to NBC News exit polls. His 27% of voters said abortion was the most important issue, according to exit polls, with inflation being the only voter concern.

A poll found that 60% of voters were dissatisfied or angry with the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe. Thirty-seven percent of voters said they were enthusiastic or satisfied with the High Court’s decision to end federal abortion rights.

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