People rallied for abortion access the day the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Louisville, KY, June 24, 2022. Credit: Samuel Crankshaw, ACLU of Kentucky Foundation.

This open letter was prepared by Protect Kentucky Access and signed by over 350 Kentucky healthcare providers as of Saturday, November 5. Click here to add your name. Get prepared to vote! Visit our Voter Information Center to view a sample ballot and find out how to vote by mail, vote early, or vote on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8.

An Open Letter to Kentucky Voters from Healthcare Providers

As doctors and health care professionals in Kentucky, we call upon all Kentuckians to vote NO on Amendment 2. If passed, this amendment will re-write Kentucky’s constitution to ban all abortions, with no exceptions.

A total ban on abortion will put patients’ lives at risk. Making abortion unconstitutional will compromise care for women who are dealing with pregnancy complications such as lethal fetal anomalies and tubal pregnancies, as well as women experiencing miscarriages, serious infections, or the diagnosis of cancer during pregnancy. It will force women who have been victims of rape or incest to carry their pregnancies to term.

Some of us are currently caring for patients seeking abortions or experiencing medical emergencies that threaten their health; we understand the complexities of this decision. Many of us have been forced to put our patient’s care at risk because of restrictive state laws that limit access to reproductive health care. Simply put, a constitutional amendment banning abortion will compromise our ability to provide safe, evidence-based care for our patients.

Amendment 2 will compromise healthcare for all Kentuckians, not just women seeking abortion. More than half of Kentucky’s 120 counties had no dedicated OB-GYN physician in 2021, and the primary care shortfall is affecting 94% of Kentucky counties. Kentucky is ranked 36 out of 50 for infant mortality, and Kentucky’s maternal mortality rate is among the highest in the country. A total abortion ban will make it more difficult to retain and recruit physicians in Kentucky and continue the downward spiral of inadequate or unavailable healthcare. Ask yourself: if Amendment 2 passes, will physicians be interested in living or working in a state that puts them and their patients at risk?

Kentuckians should have the right to make complex, personal healthcare decisions with the assistance of their doctors and healthcare team—without interference from politicians. By allowing a total ban on abortion, Amendment 2 sets a dangerous precedent that violates the sacred doctor-patient relationship.

As doctors and health care providers, we take an oath to do no harm. We stand united to oppose Amendment 2 and the harm it will cause to our patients and communities. On November 8, we ask you to vote NO on Amendment 2.

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This letter also appeared as a full page advertisement in several newspapers, including the Lexington Herald Leader and Louisville Courier Journal, as shown below.

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