The following was written by Kentucky’s four bishops: Archbishop of Louisville Shelton J. Fabre, Bishop of Covington John Iffert, Bishop of Lexington John Stowe, OFM, Conv; and Bishop of Owensboro William Medley.
Each October, the Catholic Church in the United States celebrates “Respect Life Month” as an opportunity to express our deeply held belief in the value and dignity of every human person. The month takes on an even greater meaning this year, as Kentuckians prepare to head to the polls in support of a simple, yet profound, pro-life cause.
On Nov. 8, Kentuckians have the unprecedented opportunity to write a pro-life amendment into our Commonwealth’s Constitution. We can protect countless thousands of innocent lives by voting Yes for Life on Amendment #2.
As bishops and as Kentuckians of diverse locations and backgrounds, we humbly ask you to join us in voting “Yes on #2.” Together, we will give voice to the voiceless, protect the health of mothers and babies and use this once-in-a-generation chance to transform our home state into one that unabashedly cherishes the value of all human life.
The amendment you’ll see on Nov. 8 is straightforward. 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.”
Many of us, who have committed our prayers and our advocacy to the pro-life movement for decades, may have thought the effort was won this summer when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. That historic decision answered our prayers and affirmed there is no right to an abortion in the U.S. Constitution.
However, the court’s decision actually just moved the issue back to the states. Kentucky’s two abortion providers are asking Kentucky courts now, in a case currently pending, to declare a state constitutional right to abortion. The danger is pressing, and without this amendment, the joy we felt this summer with the Dobbs decision could quickly turn to anguish.
The Yes for Life Amendment is an important and necessary protection for our pro-life values and the precious lives of unborn Kentuckians. It would prevent any state judge from putting their own politics on abortion before the clearly expressed will of the voters. And this amendment would prevent our tax dollars from being used for abortions, which would morally implicate every one of us in this horrific practice.
That’s why the Catholic Conference of Kentucky helped found an alliance of religious, pro-life and pro-family organizations in our Commonwealth to support this amendment. Our broad coalition emphasizes that the Yes for Life Amendment isn’t a partisan or even an inherently religious issue. Instead, at its core, this is a matter of moral right versus unquestionable wrong.
Despite what some may claim, our mission to protect the sanctity of life doesn’t end in the joy of a new birth. The Catholic Church in Kentucky actively supports efforts — from the pews to the statehouse — that walk with mothers and families who make the courageous decision to raise their children. From supporting legislation to provide workplace protection for pregnant and nursing mothers to advocating for public support for more paid family and medical leave, we are building a culture of life.
The Yes for Life Amendment is a central part of that greater effort to support life in all its stages.
As Americans, we are blessed with many freedoms, including our own self-determination at the ballot box. It is our sincere hope and prayer that Kentuckians will take this opportunity to heal one of our nation’s most painful wrongs and protect vulnerable human life.
We will be voting yes on Amendment #2, and we ask you to join us.