By Stuart Hamilton
My full-time job is teaching teenagers Theology. I get a lot of questions about what’s going on in the culture, and I’ve discovered there’s a lot of misinformation about tomorrow’s ballot initiative, Amendment #2. Here, I’m hoping to overcome some of the most common objections to Amendment #2.
1. “Amendment #2 will make abortion illegal!” UNTRUE: Amendment #2 proposes a one sentence amendment to the KY Constitution which reads, “To protect human life, nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.” This sentence will not make abortion immediately illegal. It is designed to achieve three things: 1) Ensure tax payer dollars will never fund abortions in KY. 2) Clarify the constitution to protect it from judges who may read into it a right to abortion (which, if that were to happen, would make abortion legal through all nine months of pregnancy without restrictions) and 3) Protect the KY legislative process by ensuring only duly elected representatives (who reflect our values) will be able to make laws about abortion. If the amendment passes it will then be our representative’s responsibility to decide whether or not abortion will be legal, illegal, restricted, and how much.
2.“If Amendment #2 passes, women will be arrested for their abortions!” UNTRUE: Amendment #2 doesn’t make abortion illegal, but even if our legislators eventually do, none are seeking criminal litigation of women who have abortions. Rather all proposed restrictions on abortion place the legal obligation on abortion providers. The goal is to create a cost/benefit deficit that will dissuade abortion providers from breaking the law. In current pro-life legislation, women will not be held responsible in KY for past actions or for seeking an abortion out of state.
3. “Amendment #2 will deny life saving healthcare to women with troubled pregnancies.” UNTRUE: Since Amendment #2 is not designed to make abortion illegal this is a moot point, but we should address the concern. Situations such as ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages (which require procedures resembling abortion, but do not act directly in taking the child’s life) are often incorrectly cited for this objection, however there are much rarer emergency conditions in which a woman’s life may be endangered by pregnancy complications. These are never dealt with in abortion clinics but only in hospitals, where appropriate emergency expertise and equipment are available. All pro-life legislation that has been put forward make allowances for these life saving procedures. Currently, the 2019 trigger law is temporarily in effect, and the hospitals continue to function in their normal capacity towards pregnancy emergencies. There will be no effect upon life-saving healthcare, with the exception that now unborn human life will be saved from the daily practices of the abortion mill.
4. “Amendment #2 is a dangerous violation of Church vs. State!” UNTRUE: The assumption of this objection is that only religious people support pro-life legislation. In truth, there are many non-religious objections to abortion. Take, for example, the argument for legal consistency: a person would be charged with double homicide if he murdered a pregnant woman, yet the same woman can abort her child with no consequence. This is contradictory and dangerous. If the value of human life can be legally diminished by a set of life circumstances or cultural convenience, it opens the door for other people groups to be marginalized by the law just as the unborn are currently. Another insight–a good reason to protect unborn life is that every one of us were once unborn! There was an atheist with mild physical disabilities who would go on the March for Life with me. She had almost been aborted, and yet she recognized the value of her life, therefore, she reasoned, all life must have some value worth legally protecting. There are legal, ethical, and practical reasons to vote yes for amendment #2.
5. “Amendment #2 will force women who have conceived through rape to bear children.” UNTRUE: Once again, the amendment has nothing to say on this matter. However, it should be noted that the 2019 Trigger law which is now temporarily in effect while being litigated does not make an allowance for rape victims. Why not? Every human life has value regardless of the circumstance of its conception. Many born people who were conceived in rape lead productive lives and advocate for their right to be born. Abortion will not undo a rape, nor heal a rape victim of her trauma (In fact, many who have had an abortion after rape reported that it increased their trauma!). Furthermore, the baby is innocent of any crime–it is the rapist who committed the crime. Even in tragic situations we must remember: 1) The taking of an innocent, human life is murder. 2) Abortion is the taking of an innocent, human life. 3) Therefore abortion is murder. Two wrongs don’t make a right–the crime of murder is not a solution to the crime of rape. Ultimately, however, amendment #2 will leave this matter up to state legislators to decide.
To protect our tax payer dollars from being used to pay for abortion, to protect our legislative process, and to give hope to those who wish to protect the lives of the unborn–we urge you to go to the polls tomorrow, November 8th. Find the last item on your ballot, and vote “yes” for amendment #2. Vote “Yes for Life”.