Amendment 2 Fails, Disappointed, not Defeated

I was disappointed to see constitutional Amendment 2 narrowly fail on election night in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Amendment 2 would have added the line “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” to the state constitution.

The Amendment merely sought to clarify explicitly what is implicit in the Kentucky Constitution. There is no right to abortion in the Kentucky constitution. That fact did not change with the defeat of Amendment 2 on election night. Amendment 2 would have been a helpful safeguard against activist judges inventing a constitutional right similar to what was done with Roe and Casey at the federal level.

Passage of Amendment 2 would not have banned abortion in Kentucky. Instead, it would have preserved the right of elected and voter-accountable lawmakers to craft Kentucky laws related to abortion. Unfortunately, national pro-abortion activists flooded money into Kentucky, fear-mongering and misrepresenting Amendment 2. 

Chief among the lies was that if Amendment 2 passed, lifesaving medical care for ectopic pregnancies or miscarriages would end. However, Kentucky’s current law already protects the life and health of mothers, and nothing would have changed with the passage of the Amendment. 

The propaganda was effective enough to cause confusion and defeat the measure. I heard from several pastors that right before election day, pro-life supporters were calling them confused about whether or not they should support the Amendment.

Nevertheless, while the defeat of Amendment 2 was disappointing, all pro-lifers should remember that success at the federal level took decades of perseverance. Likewise, the challenge before us in the Commonwealth of Kentucky will require patience and a willingness to “not grow weary in well-doing” (Gal 6:9) on behalf of our most vulnerable Kentucky citizens—the unborn. 

While the defeat of Amendment 2 is a moral victory for abortion activists, the Amendment’s failure will have no immediate practical impact on abortion in Kentucky. Thankfully, the Kentucky legislature previously enacted trigger laws banning nearly all abortions if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which remain in place. The Kentucky Supreme Court will hear oral arguments from the abortion lobby challenging those trigger laws on November 15th. Every pro-life Christian should pray that the Kentucky Supreme Court would uphold the current laws.

These legislative battles are strategically crucial in post-Roe America. No Christian should minimize their importance in the least. In our federal democratic republic, the sword is placed in each of our hands, and we must wield it faithfully to the glory of Christ. Nevertheless, with equal vehemence, we must assert that legislative battles are only a part of the story for the church in our post-Roe world. Our gaze must stretch from ballot initiatives all the way to the consummation of Christ’s kingdom. 

For Christians, our pro-life commitment is rooted in the fact that we are all image bearers of our creator God. Our responsibility to “Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter” (Prov 24:11) involves both physical and spiritual rescue. Any thought of life, for the Christian, should always prompt thoughts about eternal life. There is always more to the story for believers than any particular cultural moment. The truth is, the bulk of on-the-ground pro-lifers I have known throughout my life as a follower of Jesus have always lived this reality. 

We must be unrelentingly and indefatigably pro-life, defending the helpless and vulnerable from the womb to the tomb. Working to end the horror of legalized abortion must always be a non-negotiable part of our commitment, but it is never the end. The power of the pro-life cause has been that most pro-lifers have not viewed their cultural opponents as enemies but as image bearers who need to be shown and hear about the love of Christ. I have known many people who have embraced the pro-life cause because of how they were served and loved by someone they viewed as their enemy. 

Our fight against the deceitful culture of death will continue until that ancient serpent of old is thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:2, 10). The Evil One has hated babies and sought their destruction since the first gospel promise that one born of woman will bring his demise (Genesis 3:15). Supreme Courts matter, elected officials matter, and ballot initiatives matter, but the Messiah and his church transcends all. The church must understand that the pro-life movement did not begin in the 1960s. It started in the garden, and its ultimate victory is not in courts but in a New Heavens and New Earth.

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By |November 9th, 2022|Categories: Blog, Featured|

About the Author:

David E. Prince is pastor of preaching and vision at Ashland Avenue Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky and assistant professor of Christian preaching at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of In the Arena and Church with Jesus as the Hero. He blogs at Prince on Preaching and frequently writes for The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, For the Church, the BGEA and Preaching Today