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Abortion rights boosted with defeat of Kentucky amendment

Bruce Schreiner/AP
Abortion-rights supporters chant their objections at the Kentucky Capitol on Wednesday, April 13, 2022, in Frankfort, Ky., as Kentucky lawmakers debate overriding the governor’s veto of an abortion measure. The bill would put new restrictions on abortion, including banning the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy. (AP Photo/Bruce Schreiner)

Kentucky voters have rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have removed any protection for abortion rights from the constitution of their deeply red state.

The defeat of the proposed constitutional amendment in the midterm elections that concluded Tuesday revealed an apparent gap between voter sentiment and the expectations of lawmakers in Kentucky, where the legislature is heavily Republican and has moved to ban most abortions. Lawmakers added the proposed amendment to the ballot in 2021, a move some thought would drive more conservative voters to the polls before Roe v. Wade was overturned.