By Alexia Juarez
A major issue across the state of Kentucky’s midterms concerned the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe V. Wade, and whether or not prohibiting access to abortions should be amended to the state constitution. After an overwhelming vote of “No” (742,206 votes, to be exact), the turnout clearly indicated what the people of Kentucky have been fighting for since the call for a ban: abortion is a non-negotiable right.
Previously, Kentucky had launched a “Yes for Life” campaign on Aug. 20, 2021. The Campaign was formed to push for an abortion ban across the state. Addia Wuchner, the Yes for Life Chair, stated her goal for the campaign was to “ …encourage voters across the Commonwealth to use their ballot to stand up for the most vulnerable Kentuckians—our unborn children.”
The people of Kentucky, however, expressed through their vote and protests that no law or legislation shall be made over the rights to our own bodies. U.S. Rep. Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez has fought back against this ban since the beginning, tweeting on June 25 “Let’s be real: there’s a WHOLE lot of men whose lives, careers, and families have benefited from an abortion ( including several “pro-life” congressman). Men, we need you right now. You can get through in rooms others can’t. Your power matters. Speak up. This is about us all.”
Everyone has the right to their opinion on their stance on abortion. However, everyone needs to respect that abortion is a fundamental issue that only affects the persons involved directly in the situation and no one else. We shall not pass judgment nor scrutinize those who have experienced one of the most traumatic procedures in their life.
“It’s disheartening anytime I see Kentucky taking a step backward,” Lexie Overstreet, voter engagement specialist at Planned Parenthood said.
Overstreet travels throughout Kentucky knocking on doors, recruiting volunteers, and bringing community need to Frankfort. Her team worked all throughout the state traveling to Northern and Western Kentucky knocking on over 1,000 doors total to speak on this amendment.
While she has encountered opposing opinions throughout this journey, she never felt inclined to pass judgment. “The most important part is just knowing that first and foremost I am an educator and first and foremost I’m a community member before I am my title at work,” she said.
Overstreet shared it is important for her to remind the community she’s there to offer her support. “Just reminding folks that you’re in the fight as well, you’re here to support the community as much as they are, and that voting no on amendment two was the best way to be supporting one another and supporting our community members who need it.”
We should all continue to educate and support our community in moments like this. The right to an abortion is a constitutional right, and we should continue to strive to educate and protect our women in healthcare. “Abortion is healthcare,” Overstreet said. “It’s a medical procedure that should be left between a doctor and an individual and it has no place in politics.”