What is Amendment 2 and how could it impact Kentucky?

Election Day is three weeks away and Kentuckians heading to the polls will vote on two constitutional amendments.
Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 4:23 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Election Day is three weeks away and Kentuckians heading to the polls will vote on two constitutional amendments.

Many eyes are on Amendment 2 which addresses the right to abortion.

Abortions aren’t currently being performed in Kentucky except for medical emergencies, under a state “trigger law” after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade in June.

Pro-choice groups have already filed lawsuits on behalf of providers, claiming the ban is unconstitutional. The Kentucky Supreme Court, won’t hear that case until November 15, a week after the election.

Kentucky’s proposed one-sentence, constitutional amendment states:

“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.”

Chris Hartman is executive director of the Fairness Campaign and says, if the proposed Amendment 2 passes, it could change the future of the state and would take years to undo.

“An extreme amendment like this absolute makes Kentucky a state that people are not going to consider when they are ticking down the different places they will consider moving their families or their businesses,” Hartman said.

States who have passed similar amendments include Tennessee, Alabama, West Virginia and Louisiana. Recently, Kansas voters struck down a comparable measure.

Addia Wuchner is a former state representative and now the director of Kentucky Right to Life who says passing this amendment will allow lawmakers to be lawmakers.

“Keeps the issue of abortion out of our constitution as a right. You can’t interpret or invent a right,” Wuchner said. “But, it shows one thing, Kentucky taxpayers, no matter what side of the abortion issue you’re on, they have not wanted their taxpayer dollars to have been spent.”

However, it is already illegal to fund abortions with tax dollars in Kentucky.

Opponents of the measure have far outraised supporters of the amendment.

Amendment 1 is focused on the powers of the General Assembly. A “yes” vote on Amendment 1 would free lawmakers to set aside the adjournment dates of their usual sessions and bring themselves back for up to 12 additional business days later in the year, regardless of the governor’s wishes.

The general election will be held on November 8.