KENTUCKY — There will be a highly consequential ballot measure on the ballot on Nov. 8, 2022. Amendment 2 asks Kentucky voters if they are in favor of adding a section to the state Constitution that 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.”
Passage of the amendment could ultimately spell the fate of abortion rights by either affirming or denying the constitutional right to an abortion in Kentucky.
With the stakes understandably high, two opposing political committees have raised over $2 million to lobby their sides of the issue.
What You Need To Know
- Political groups have raised over $2 million in the battle for constitutional abortion access in Kentucky
- Yes For Life, which supports the ballot measure to declare Kentucky's constitution grants no right to abortion, has raised over $450,000
- Protect Kentucky Access, an abortion rights group that opposes the measure, has outraised Yes For Life nearly four-to-one
- Kentucky's battle could mirror that which unfolded in Kansas, where opposing groups raised over $12 million for campaign activities
Candidates and political committees filed their first campaign finance reports of the general election season. As Tuesday’s deadline came and went, reports showed one of the largest fundraisers was Protect Kentucky Access, an abortion rights group opposing the ballot measure.
Protect Kentucky Access reported over $1.4 million in contributions from 1,036 donors in the 60-day pre-election window, according to the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance. Since September of last year, the advocacy group has amassed over $1.7 million in contributions.
On the other side of the issue, Yes For Life, which supports the ballot measure to declare there’s no right to abortion in the Kentucky constitution, reported just over $350,000 in receipts from roughly 40 contributors in the pre-election window. Since Oct. 2021, the group has amassed over $459,000 in contributions.
The new finance reports likely signal an intensifying battle targeting the hearts and minds of Kentucky voters. It’s markedly similar to Kansas’ “Value Them Both” ballot measure that would have eliminated the state’s constitutional right to an abortion. The measure lost in shocking fashion when 59% of voters kept abortion rights in the constitution.
Supporters of the Kansas amendment spent $6.7 million on campaign activities, slightly outspending opponents who spent $6.4 million, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported.
As it stands, abortion is severely restricted in Kentucky. The Kentucky Supreme Court in mid-August ruled that the state’s near-total abortion ban will remain in place while it reviews arguments by abortion clinics challenging two state laws. But those arguments won’t begin until Nov. 15, which is seven days after voters decide on the yes/no amendment.
Kentucky’s Republican-dominated legislature enacted the so-called “trigger law” banning nearly all abortions if the U.S. Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade, which it ultimately did. The only exception under the measure is when the health of the mother is threatened. Lawmakers also passed a separate 6-week ban that the clinics have also challenged.
To register to vote, check your registration, find your polling place and more, visit the state Board of Election’s website.