A Kentucky ballot measure, Amendment 2, would bar state courts from considering the constitutionality of abortion.

by Jordan Smith, The Intercept

Kentucky State Rep. Nancy Tate, the GOP leader of the General Assembly’s Pro-Life Caucus, gathered with her colleagues for a press conference at the state capitol in late October to decry the alleged “misinformation” they say has plagued the campaign against a proposed constitutional amendment on the midterm ballot. Known as Amendment 2, the measure would amend the Kentucky Constitution to say that nothing in the document may be construed to protect a right to abortion. “This is a massive information campaign that is misrepresenting the intent of this amendment and scaring Kentucky’s women,” Tate said.

People hold signs at an abortion rights rally

Amendment 2 is one of five abortion-related measures on statewide ballots this month. Measures in CaliforniaMichigan, and Vermont would protect access. A measure in Montana that purports to protect babies “born alive” after an abortion, which is not a thing, has the state’s medical professionals up in arms about its potential consequences. The closest parallel to what Kentucky is asking of voters is a similar measure that appeared on the primary ballot in Kansas in August, which also sought to write reproductive rights out of the state constitution. It was roundly rejected by voters.

In Kansas, the run-up to the primary was flooded with misinformation. Supporters of the so-called Value Them Both Amendment insisted that stripping the state constitution of abortion rights wouldn’t result in a ban on abortion, while voting against the measure would deregulate abortion in the state, allowing clinics to operate without oversight. Neither claim was accurate. Then, on the eve of the primary, Kansas voters received a text message falsely stating that voting yes for the amendment would actually preserve “choice on reproductive rights.” The messages were unattributed but reportedly linked to a former far-right Kansas member of Congress and funded by a Catholic advocacy group.

Read More