With only four weeks left before the state's voter-registration deadline, advocacy groups say they are sounding the alarm on a ballot initiative which would ensure abortion is not considered a constitutional right.
Amendment 2Michael Muller, campaign manager for Protect Kentucky Access, said Amendment 2 would create a new section with language explicitly stating to protect human life, nothing in the Constitution shall be construed to protect a right to abortion or require the funding of an abortion.
Muller said as written, there would be no exceptions for the life of the mother in cases of rape or incest. He also pointed out there are a variety of situations such as miscarriages, which are medically classified as abortions.
"This would really put doctors in a very perilous position," Muller contended. "Between the life of the mother in those scenarios not being protected under the Constitution."
Supporters of the measure argued the change is needed to protect the sanctity of life, and maintained the language does not ban any type of abortion but instead allows elected officials to regulate abortions.
Kentucky's voter-registration deadline is Oct. 11, and the state's Primary Election is on Tuesday, Nov. 8, with polls open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Early voting begins Nov. 3.
Kentucky's access to healthcare already sparseMuller noted he worried the measure would further reduce access to reproductive health care in regions of the state already struggling with a low availability of providers.
"So this is very, very reckless and will be one of the absolute most dangerous things in a state where 73 of us 120 counties already don't have a practicing OB-GYN," Muller pointed out. "This will turn us into a greater health care desert."
Kentucky is among around a dozen states with trigger laws that went into effect after Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court earlier this summer. According to a recent NPR/Marist Poll, registered Democrats and independents said inflation and abortion are their top issues of the midterm election cycle.
This story was originally published by Public News Service and republished here with permission.