Kentucky constitutional amendment on abortion fails

Posted at 12:20 AM, Nov 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-09 18:31:38-05

KENTUCKY — Constitutional Amendment 2 failed Tuesday night, allowing abortion to remain a constitutional right in Kentucky.

ABC News projected the amendment failed at around midnight, with the ACLU of Kentucky declaring victory. Around 53% of Kentuckians had voted against the amendment with 91% of precincts reporting.

"The majority of Kentuckians made one thing clear: abortion is our right and politicians have no place in our private medical decisions," ACLU of Kentucky tweeted.

Abortion was outlawed in Kentucky under the state's trigger law after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade in June. In that legislation, the only exception was when the health of the mother is threatened.

However, a lawsuit seeking to establish abortion as a state right is pending in court. Constitutional Amendment 2 would have added a section to the state constitution eliminating the right to an abortion and dissolving all current legal challenges.

Here's how the amendment was written on ballots:

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?

Voters were asked to select "yes" or "no." Saying "yes" meant the voter was in favor of an amendment that eliminated the right to an abortion, while saying "no" meant the voter did not support an amendment eliminating abortions in Kentucky.

The two remaining abortion clinics in Kentucky are both in Louisville, the state's largest city. Abortion rights have been reinstated and then revoked again by judges in Kentucky since the trigger law took effect.

Also on Tuesday's ballot was Constitutional Amendment 1, which would give state lawmakers more power by allowing the Kentucky General Assembly to call itself into special session and potentially extend regular legislative sessions to end later than they currently do.