Amendment’s failure a disappointment, but not the end, bishops say

A sign supporting amendment 2, which was rejected by voters Nov. 8, stood in front of the Archdiocese of Louisville Pastoral Center on Election Day. (Record Photo by Marnie McAllister)

The Catholic Conference of Kentucky and the state’s four Catholic bishops expressed disappointment after Kentucky voters narrowly rejected a constitutional amendment on abortion access. 

But Catholic leaders also insisted in a Nov. 9 statement that efforts “to increase respect for the dignity of each and every human life” must continue.

The failed measure would have amended Kentucky’s constitution to explicitly state there’s no right to abortion guaranteed by the constitution, nor does it require the funding of abortion.

The Kentucky Supreme Court is scheduled on Nov. 15 to hear two challenges to state abortion laws that ban the procedure, except in a medical emergency. The court is asked to consider the constitutionality of those laws.

“We pray that the defeat of the amendment will not lead the courts to assume the role of determining public policy on abortion,” said the bishops’ statement, which was issued by the Catholic conference Nov. 9. “The General Assembly is the proper venue to settle such deeply divisive issues.”

The statement acknowledged that some voters had serious concerns about the amendment and indicated a desire to help all vulnerable Kentuckians.

“We must continue to insist on legal protection for unborn human life, but we also stand ready to work with all people of good will to advance policies that support Kentuckians in vulnerable situations and that ensure access to health care for all,” the statement said.

While the Catholic Church perennially works to dismantle abortion in the United States, the church also supports policies that protect women and children, such as workplace protections for pregnant women.

“The defeat of Amendment 2 is cause for sadness, but also a call to redouble our efforts at ensuring that every Kentuckian has the support they need to thrive. We renew our commitment to work with legislators to pass laws that protect the unborn, support women and families, and respect human life and dignity in all stages of life.”

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