You get to decide whether to ban abortion on Election Day. What to know on KY Amendment 2

One of the hottest items on Kentucky's Nov. 8 general election ballot this year could be Constitutional Amendment 2 to eliminate the right to abortion in the commonwealth.

Though constitutional amendments − often in dense legal jargon − tend to make voters eyes glaze over, supporters and opponents predict this one is different.

The topic fired up voters in Kansas, where an unexpectedly large turnout in August rejected by 18 percentage points a similar attempt to eliminate abortion rights from that state's constitution.

What the Kentucky Amendment 2 ballot question says

Voters will consider Constitutional Amendment 2 on the November 2022 ballot which could change whether Kentucky's constitution will allow abortions in the commonwealth.
Voters will consider Constitutional Amendment 2 on the November 2022 ballot which could change whether Kentucky's constitution will allow abortions in the commonwealth.

Kentucky's one-sentence amendment states:

"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."

More:Post Roe v. Wade, abortion is the X factor in Kentucky's 2022 election

What the vote on Kentucky's abortion amendment could do

If approved, the measure changes Kentucky's constitution to eliminate the right to abortion.

If rejected, it leaves open the possibility abortion could be declared a state right.

And with Kentucky among states that have largely banned abortion since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade on June 24, the stakes are high.

"We're going to do our best to make sure this issue is front and center when people go into the voting booths Nov. 8," said Rachel Sweet, campaign manager for Protect Kentucky Access, a coalition of abortion rights groups that oppose the amendment. "I think we have the opportunity to make a really compelling case as to why this policy is bad for Kentucky and why it should be rejected."

Sweet ran the successful campaign to reject the Kansas amendment.

But supporters of Kentucky's amendment led by the Yes for Life campaign are working to make sure the amendment passes to block any possibility a court decision or change in the law could restore abortion rights in Kentucky.

"This constitutional amendment reiterates that the constitution does not secure or protect the right to abortion or protect the funding of abortion," said Addia Wuchner, executive director of Kentucky Right to Life and chair of the Yes for Life Alliance.

It ensures "you do not have laws or radical judges making law from the bench," she added.

Currently a challenge to two laws that have shut down abortion access in Kentucky is pending before the state Supreme Court, which does not plan to hear the case until Nov. 15, a week after the voters are to decide the amendment.

More:Another Kansas? Kentucky abortion amendment fight brings millions for opposing groups

Kentucky was among about a dozen states with a "trigger law" to end abortion should Roe v. Wade fall. It also had a law on the books that bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy, before most people realize they are pregnant.

Both laws allow abortions only in medical emergencies to save the life of or prevent disabling injury to a patient.

Contact reporter Deborah Yetter at dyetter@courier-journal.com. Find her on Twitter at @d_yetter.

As two billboards featured infants -- and one by an Anti-abortion clinic -- on the corner of Muhammad Ali and Fifth Street, Abortion-rights supporters protested the recent SCOTUS ruling that triggered several states to outlaw abortion. July 4, 2022.
As two billboards featured infants -- and one by an Anti-abortion clinic -- on the corner of Muhammad Ali and Fifth Street, Abortion-rights supporters protested the recent SCOTUS ruling that triggered several states to outlaw abortion. July 4, 2022.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Kentucky amendment 2: What do voters need to know