Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Prediction: Choice Will Win in Kentucky

Kentucky will vote this Tuesday on whether or not to amend its constitution to say that it contains no right to an abortion. Philosophically, I see adding language to a constitution that restricts personal rights as a kind of vandalism. The foundational document of a government instituted by a free people should only establish rights, not curtail them. At the same time, it can empower its government to pass statutory restrictions. That's how freedom works in a system of ordered liberties: you elect people who pass laws that keep you safe without making you a slave to the state. Or so we'd like to think.

This time, the elected guardians of personal sovereignty in Kentucky have decided their own laws aren't strong enough to regulate the people they govern, so they are going to try to put regulating people directly into their state constitution. That's disgusting. But, some folks would be vandals if it gets them something that they want, and some vandals in Kentucky want rape victims to have their rapists' children (and to die needlessly in childbirth, and to deliver babies that will die painfully shortly thereafter, and, well, to just be quiet and do what they're told, it would seem).

I think the forces opposing personal liberty in Kentucky are going to lose. Here's why: They lost in Kansas. Kansas voted for Trump by a margin of 14 points. Kansas voted against a constitutional ban on abortion by a margin of 18 points. Now, Kentucky was more pro-Trump than Kansas was, with the documented act of lunacy that was their vote in favor of him by a margin of 26 points. But, doing some back-of-the-envelope math, I see that as meaning 6 percent more Kentuckians will favor taking their own rights away, and 6 percent fewer will favor keeping them, than did in Kansas. That means the 59/41 pro-choice vote in Kansas will probably be a 53/47 pro-choice vote in Kentucky. (Also, three years ago, a poll found the large majority of Kentuckians favored at least some access to abortion, and that was before Roe was overturned, which I think will put some motivating fear into the pro-choice electorate.)

I could be wrong, but that's my prediction. Choice wins in Kentucky next Tuesday.


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