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No 'Right' To Abortion Under Proposed Kentucky Amendment

Josh James

A bill guaranteeing Kentucky's constitution contains no protections for abortion rights sped toward the Senate Monday.

Proponents say the amendment would not prevent future legislatures from expanding abortion access if they chose to, but it would stop any future court ruling from "inventing a state constitutional right to abortion." That, according to Republican sponsor Joe Fischer, could overturn abortion laws already passed by the General Assembly.

Critics of the measure view the amendment part of a string of bills meant to chip away at and ultimately eliminate all access to abortion in the state.

The new constitutional language begins with the phrase "To protect human life..." Jackie McGranahan with the ACLU of Kentucky argued that "in some cases, people decide to have an abortion to protect their lives and every person's situation is different and we should respect that this is their decision to make."

The language does not include exceptions in cases of rape, incest, or if the life of the mother is in danger.

The amendment, which is primed to pass and survive any veto by the governor, would also need the approval of Kentuckians at the ballot box.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.