Pro-life amendment fails in Kentucky, news outlet projects

15-week ultrasound Ultrasound scan of 15-week-old baby | Allo4e4ka/Shutterstock

A pro-life amendment offering protections for the unborn in Kentucky has failed, a local NBC affiliate in that state projected Tuesday night.

Voters did not support a ballot measure called Amendment 2 that would have amended the state constitution to say there is no right to abortion, LEX 18 News in Lexington, Kentucky, reported.

As of 11:40 p.m. EST, the New York Times reported 82% of votes counted, with 52.8% voting “no” and 47.2% voting “yes.”

Americans in five states voted on the issue of abortion during the 2022 midterm elections. Three states — California, Michigan, and Vermont — are proposing constitutional amendments to advance abortion. At the same time, citizens in Kentucky are weighing a pro-life amendment and Montana voters are considering a measure that promises to protect babies who are born alive after attempted abortions.

In Vermont, citizens voted to enshrine abortion in that state’s constitution, a local news outlet projected Tuesday night.

The measures follow the Supreme Court’s June decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade and freed states to legislate on abortion. They also come after a pro-life amendment recently failed in Kansas.

What is Amendment 2?

Kentucky voted on a pro-life measure — Amendment 2 — which says the state’s constitution does not protect abortion. 

It reads: “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.”

As a state, Kentucky currently prohibits abortion with exceptions for saving a woman’s life or preventing serious risk to her physical health.

The Yes for Life alliance, which includes the Catholic Conference of Kentucky, asked pro-life citizens to vote yes. The group said that the amendment’s language “will prevent state judges from asserting their own preferences over the will of legislators and the voters.”

Opposing the amendment, the Protect Kentucky Access coalition claimed that the amendment would “pave the way for the state to ban abortion in all cases.”

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