Letter: Why I am voting NO on Amendment No. 2

To the editor,

If you have already decided to vote yes, I would like to ask you to consider my thoughts before voting. Voting for this amendment for me is not a question if I believe in abortion is right. I taught my daughters it was not an option for our family. But I also realize that not all families have the privileges we took for granted. They are outliers, special medical cases, situations that fall outside the general parameters. For these cases, we ought to have an option.

Should a medical professional have the freedom to make judgement calls for the best interest of a woman’s health? Should a women have any legal rights for what is happening inside herself or should the government have the final word on it? Voting no doesn’t mean we stop advocating for the unborn. But it does mean that we give women, families, and doctors the ability to make decisions.

If this passes, we will look back and see how shortsighted and simplistic we have been. This issue is multi-faceted and we ought to allow some legal leeway for families to make medical decisions with their doctors. Being legally forced to bear a child, or being forced to carry a fetus to the point of maternal danger will undoubtedly bring outcomes we never even anticipated.

Obstetricians, doctors and nurses will hightail it out of Kentucky for fear their hands will be tied in complicated pregnancies. Kentucky women with high risk pregnancies will hope all goes well. Otherwise she will have to wait on her body to fend for itself.

I’d like to draw a parallel between this issue and what happened in 1920 with the Prohibition. Proponents of the Prohibition felt a moral duty to eliminate the damage of alcohol on families. Likewise, Amendment 2 proponents feel a duty to eliminate abortion.

Each wants to legally impose a blanket decision on society without considering the long term consequences. The Prohibitionists sought to eliminate alcohol by making it illegal. Drunkenness was bad; however, eliminating the legal sale of alcohol proved worse. Only a few years later, the teetotaling had to acknowledge it inadvertently created an underground, the forerunner to organized crime. Alcohol use did not decrease, only the legal sales. Prohibition was passed in 1920 and repealed in 1933. Applying that to the abortion topic, revoking any legal access may not stop abortions, only legal ones. It will strip women of their rights, endanger their lives, and make difficult decisions even harder.

The teetotalers did not change their message, nor should abortion foes. Preach the message, however, leave the law open to allow leeway for those who are not there yet, and those who have medical needs. We cannot change hearts by changing the law.

We can hate abortion, work to save unborn lives and vote NO.

Pam Barnes Harlow

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