FRANKFORT, Ky. — Less than two weeks from the November midterm elections and Kentucky’s Pro-Life Caucus claimed “millions in out-of-state dollars” are being spent to mislead Kentuckians into voting down Amendment 2.
Leaders of Kentucky’s Pro-Life Caucus say their members are fighting against a campaign of scare tactics to persuade Kentuckians to vote down Amendment 2.
“This amendment makes it clear that there is no right to an abortion under the Kentucky constitution,” Republican State Representative Nancy Tate told reporters on Thursday. Rep. Tate was joined by her fellow caucus members, adding that a “Yes” vote for Amendment 2 would prevent state judges from so-called "legislating from the bench."
It would also ban tax-payer money from being used for abortions. “And keep state judges in their lane of interpreting the law and not inventing new laws and new rights that the constitution does not speak of,” Representative Tate said.
The use of tax-payer money to fund abortion is already illegal under federal and state law, though. The Hyde Amendment bars the use of federal funds to pay for abortion. And Kentucky's House Bill 3, passed earlier this year, prohibits "public agency funds" from being used to pay for abortion services.
The District 27 representative says considerable money is being spent to "misinform" Kentuckians that Amendment 2 is a total abortion ban. There is only one exception under state law, and rape or incest are notably not exceptions under state law.
“It does not ban all abortions. There is an exception to preserve the life and health of a pregnant woman,” Rep. Tate said.
Constitutional Amendment 2, found on the back of this year's midterm ballots, asks a yes or no question that reads as follows:
"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?"
Democratic State Representative Josie Raymond takes exception to the claims made by the Pro-Life caucus Thursday.
“Removing the Supreme Court’s ability to rule whether the General Assembly’s laws are constitutional is an attack of the separation of powers. It removes the checks and balances system that’s essential to American government to the Kentucky State Government. We’re not doing this to any other laws passed by the General Assembly, just the complete abortion ban,” Rep. Raymond explained.
Raymond is confident Amendment 2 will be voted down. “This question is central to so many people’s lives,” Rep. Raymond said.
Rep. Tate feels differently, saying, “A ‘Yes’ vote keeps out-of-state interests from exploiting us.”
Legislators are reminding voters to turn their ballots over and not overlook any ballot questions like the one for Amendment 2 stating a “straight line vote” only elects candidates.