Catholics urged to support amendment as state ban faces court battle

After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade June 24 in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, abortion in Kentucky was halted — for about six days.

Kentucky’s trigger law — passed in 2019 to ban most abortions if control went to the state — is now wending its way through the courts.

Jefferson Circuit Judge Mitch Perry issued a temporary restraining order on the trigger law June 30 allowing abortions to continue. On July 22 he issued an injunction halting enforcement of both the trigger law and another law that bans abortion after cardiac activity is detectable.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a gubernatorial candidate, said he would appeal the decision.

Jason Hall, executive director of the Catholic Conference of Kentucky, which represents Kentucky’s four bishops on matters of public policy, said there’s something every voting Catholic can do to help.

“Vote ‘yes’ on Amendment #2” in the Nov. 8 election, he said. “The litigation that’s happening … really highlights what ‘YES for Life’ is for.”

“YES for Life” is a campaign sponsored by the Catholic conference and other groups that
urges the public to support Amendment #2.

The amendment — which will be printed on the ballot in November — 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.”

“We wanted to make clear that there is no right to abortion in the constitution. That’s why it’s very simple, just one sentence,” he said. The high court’s decision in Dobbs also emphasized that there is no right to abortion in the U.S. constitution.

“It’s very rare that you have an opportunity for such a direct, clear action to take as we have right now,” Hall noted. “This amendment is already on the ballot. Our biggest job is educating people: Vote yes on Amendment #2 and educate others that this is on the ballot.”

Hall said passage of the amendment could open opportunities for the legislature to “clean up” current abortion statutes in the state. The Catholic conference would advocate for laws that protect both the mother and the unborn child, consistent with Catholic health care directives, he said.

The conference is asking parishioners to speak in their parishes this fall about the amendment.

“Constitutional amendments are at the end of the ballot,” he noted. “If you vote a straight party ticket, you’ll have to go to the bottom to vote for this.”
To help educate Catholics about the issue or learn more, visit the conference website at ccky.org.

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