Each October, the Catholic Church in the United States celebrates “Respect Life Monthas an opportunity to express our deep belief in the worth and dignity of every human person. The month takes on even greater meaning this year, as Kentuckians prepare to go to the polls in support of a simple, yet profound, pro-life cause.
On November 8, Kentuckians have an unprecedented opportunity to write a pro-life amendment to our Commonwealth Constitution. We can protect countless thousands of innocent lives by voting yes for life on Amendment #2.
As bishops and as Kentuckians from various places and backgrounds, we humbly ask that you join us in voting yes on #2. Together, we will give voice to the voiceless, protect the health of mothers and babies, and use this unique opportunity to transform our home state into one that unabashedly cherishes the value of all human life.
The amendment you will see on November 8 is simple. It reads: “In order to protect human life, nothing in this Constitution shall be construed as guaranteeing or protecting the right to abortion or as requiring the funding of abortion.”
Many of us who have dedicated our prayers and advocacy to the pro-life movement for decades may have thought the effort was won this summer when the Supreme Court struck down Roe vs. Wade. This historic decision answered our prayers and affirmed that there is no right to abortion in the US Constitution.
However, the court’s decision has in effect just referred the matter back to the states. The two Kentucky abortion providers are now asking the Kentucky courts, in a case currently pending, to declare a state constitutional right to abortion. The danger is pressing, and without this amendment, the joy we felt this summer with the Dobbs Decision can quickly turn to anxiety.
The Yes to Life Amendment is an important and necessary protection for our pro-life values and the precious lives of unborn Kentuckians. This would prevent any state judge from putting their own policy on abortion ahead of the clearly expressed will of voters. And this amendment would prevent our tax dollars from being used for abortions, which would morally implicate each of us in this horrible practice. This is why the Kentucky Catholic Conference helped found an alliance of religious, pro-life and pro-family organizations in our Commonwealth to support this amendment. Our broad coalition insists that the “yes for life” amendment is not a partisan issue or even an inherently religious issue. Instead, at its core, it’s a matter of moral rights versus indisputable wrong.
Despite what some may claim, our mission to protect the sanctity of life does not end in the joy of being born again. The Catholic Church in Kentucky actively supports the efforts of state home pews who walk with mothers and families who make the courageous decision to raise their children. Whether it’s supporting legislation to protect pregnant women and nursing mothers in the workplace or advocating for public support for more paid family and medical leave, we’re building a culture of life.
The Yes for Life Amendment is a central part of this larger effort to support life in all its stages.
As Americans, we enjoy many freedoms, including our own self-determination at the ballot box. We sincerely hope and pray that Kentuckians will seize this opportunity to heal one of our nation’s most painful wrongs and protect vulnerable human life. We will be voting Yes on Amendment #2, and we ask that you join us.
The Catholic Bishops of Kentucky: Bishop Shelton Fabre, Bishop John Ifffert, Bishop John Stowe, OFM, Conv and Bishop William Medley.