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HomeHealthKentucky rejects anti-abortion constitutional modification in shock victory for reproductive rights

Kentucky rejects anti-abortion constitutional modification in shock victory for reproductive rights


Counter-protestors maintain indicators in entrance of a rally encouraging voters to vote sure on Modification 2, which might add a everlasting abortion ban to Kentuckys state structure, on the steps of the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky, on October 1, 2022.

Stefani Reynolds | AFP | Getty Photographs

In a shock victory for reproductive rights, voters in conservative Kentucky have rejected a proposed modification to the state structure that will have protected the state’s abortion ban from authorized problem, NBC Information initiatives. 

About 52% of those that solid ballots rejected an modification that mentioned there isn’t any proper to an abortion underneath the state structure.

Kentucky banned abortion instantly after the Supreme Courtroom overturned Roe v. Wade in June. The modification put earlier than voters Tuesday was an try by anti-abortion activists to protect the state’s ban from authorized challenges by making it ironclad underneath the state structure.

Though abortion stays unlawful in Kentucky, the defeat of the constitutional modification will make it simpler for reproductive rights activists to combat the ban in state courts.

“This can be a victory for bodily autonomy and the appropriate of all Kentuckians to make one of the best choices for themselves, however the combat will not be over,” mentioned Amber Duke, government director for the ACLU of Kentucky. “We’ll now proceed our combat in state court docket to revive abortion entry within the commonwealth.”

The defeat of the modification in Kentucky is one other indication that there are limits to anti-abortion politics even in conservative states. Shield Kentucky Entry, the coalition that opposed the modification, ran a average marketing campaign that sought to additionally win over conservatives who assist abortion restrictions but in addition consider the process is important in some conditions.

Kentucky’s abortion ban makes performing the medical process a criminal offense punishable by as much as 5 years in jail. There are not any exceptions for rape or incest, however there may be one for when the mom’s life is at risk. Girls can’t be prosecuted for receiving an abortion underneath the Kentucky legislation.

Kentucky has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Invoice Clinton in 1996. Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell has represented the state in Washington since 1985. On Tuesday, Kentucky re-elected Republican Sen. Rand Paul, one other deeply conservative politician.

The defeat of the anti-abortion poll measure in Kentucky is the second shock victory for abortion rights in a conservative state for the reason that Supreme Courtroom overturned Roe over the summer time. In August, voters in Kansas resoundingly rejected a measure that sought to strip abortion rights from the state structure.

Different states shield abortion

In one other necessary victory for reproductive rights, Michigan on Tuesday voted to guard abortion as proper underneath its state structure. The institution of abortion for granted underneath Michigan’s structure comes after the autumn of Roe raised the likelihood {that a} 91-year-old ban on the process may return into impact. 

Michigan will now turn into an necessary secure haven for girls in search of abortions within the Midwest, the place entry is dwindling after the autumn of Roe.

California and Vermont additionally voted to guard abortion for granted underneath their state constitutions in Tuesday’s midterm elections. Although reproductive rights have been by no means in jeopardy in these solidly liberal states, the amendments assure abortion entry for future generations. 

A stable majority of midterm voters nationwide, some 60%, mentioned abortion needs to be authorized, in accordance with NBC Information exit polls. And 27% of voters mentioned abortion was crucial problem for them, behind solely inflation amongst voters’ issues, in accordance with the exit polls.

Sixty % of voters mentioned they have been both dissatisfied or indignant with the Supreme Courtroom’s resolution to overturn Roe, in accordance with the polls. Thirty-seven % of voters mentioned they have been enthusiastic or glad with the excessive court docket’s resolution to finish federal abortion rights.

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