A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Wayne Gnatuk: Kentucky’s proposed constitutional Amendment 2 is an affront to religious liberty

In a state as religiously diverse as Kentucky, a ban on abortion threatens the religious liberty guaranteed to all citizens under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Kentucky Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (KRCRC) urges all Kentucky voters to oppose Amendment 2, one of two proposed amendments to the Kentucky state constitution that will be on the ballot on November 8.

Amendment 2 would amend the Kentucky constitution to state that “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.” While our constitution does not specifically mention abortion, its protection of our right to privacy has been used to argue for the right to choose an abortion. Amendment 2, if passed, would rule out that pathway to legality.

Rev. Wayne Gnatuk

If passed, Amendment 2 would allow for a total ban on abortion, even in cases of rape or incest, and in cases where the life and health of the pregnant person are at risk. As we have seen in other states, the consequences of these laws are very real.

Who is KRCRC? We are people of faith and conscience—including both Christians and Jews––who belong to a wide variety of religious communities. For more than forty years, our group has worked to protect reproductive choice through education, advocacy, and political engagement. KRCRC is now a member of Protect Kentucky Access, a state-wide coalition dedicated to keeping politics out of our most private decisions.

KRCRC, along with many faith communities, affirms that abortion can be a responsible choice, in which individuals are guided by moral codes and religious beliefs of their own choosing. Some people mistakenly believe that all religions condemn abortion and consider it sinful. Not true—many faith traditions, including both Christian and Jewish, support the right of individuals to make their own decisions in the highly personal areas of reproduction and family life.

Amendment 2 would deny religious freedom, allowing extremist politicians to override individual religious convictions and to impose their own religion-based views on people who do not share them.

If Amendment 2 passes, it will amount to a permanent ban on abortion in Kentucky. The Amendment would endanger many freedoms that Kentuckians now take for granted: to choose from a full range of contraceptives, to gain access to many forms of health care, to use telehealth services. It would put politicians in the doctor’s office, the pharmacy, the school or the university health service. It would limit the ability of doctors and clergy to advise, and medical providers to treat, people who face a difficult, even life-threatening pregnancy.

Let’s stop government interference in family planning and our private lives before it is too late. KCRC urges all Kentucky voters to vote NO on Amendment 2 this November.

Rev. Wayne A. Gnatuk is a retired Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) pastor and serves as the board chair of the Kentucky Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

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  1. Paul VANCE says:

    no one has stated any real facts about amendment 2 . if you look at reasons no one has put numbers to the fact. like the number of abortions due to rape or incest or medically necessary. lets look at the numbers of women who get pregnant and go get abortions and continue to do so because of convience not medical need.
    so it is essentially a free pass even though condoms and the pill would prevent these unnecessary abortions but, instead you put blinders on. as a person who worked with operation escort for a certain abortion clinic in louisville for 3 years I saw frequent flyers every month. was this what you mean by medical necessary?? This is not about rights its about convience you can paint the picture how you want but in the end as one lady put it a fetus is a nothing but, the same cells that make up a fetus are the same cells running your current self so if its a nothing then that make you a nothing way to go you have now lowered women to nothings. society is really doomed if we follow the religions that are in play today. i will pray for you sir.

  2. Dane Poe says:

    Paul is 100% correct and Wayne is your typical liberal. People get more upset over dogs and cats being put to death than babies, how sad is that? Thank God Wayne is retired.

  3. Ken Collinson says:

    To- Rev. Wayne Gnatuk:
    Wayne, I need to call you about First Day Covers.
    Ken Collinson
    (248) 915-8552

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