Radical leftist publication, The Nation, published an editorial by the Executive Director of Showing Up for Racial Justice, in which the “progressive” activist details the strategy used by pro-abortion activists to defeat Kentucky Constitutional Amendment 2 by a 52 – 48 margin.
Amendment 2, which The Nation article describes as a “constitutional abortion ban” or a “near-total abortion ban” was, in fact, a modest attempt to prevent state courts from inventing a constitutional right to abortion. To prevent pro-abortion judicial activists from taking the law into their own hands on the question of abortion, the amendment sought to preemptively state that the Kentucky constitution did not include a right to abortion. In effect, Amendment 2 was a defensive amendment, akin to the supreme court’s Dobbs decision. Kentucky’s Amendment did not ban abortion or directly reaffirm the humanity of the preborn child.
Section 26A. 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.Kentucky Abortion Amendment
The Grassroots Narrative
The Nation article paints a “grass roots” narrative in which far-left groups were able to reach the ignorant locals and educate them about their “reproductive rights”.
Given the right’s near stranglehold on political power, local progressive organizations knew that they would have to join forces in order to have any chance of winning. SURJ joined organizational partners including Sister Song, Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates, Granny’s Birth Initiative, Kentucky Health Justice Network, Fairness Campaign, ACLU of Kentucky, and Kentucky Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice to form Protect Kentucky Access to fight back … Our volunteers talked with men who said they were pro-life at the beginning of the call and, through listening and answering questions, realized they felt strongly that no one should have their right to decide what’s best for their body taken away. Those men committed to joining us in voting no.
In reality, groups like Showing Up for Racial Justice, which is led by a New York leftist named Erin Heaney, had far greater resources and almost absolute impunity to lie to the locals and have the media not only ignore their lies, but also repeat them.
From telling voters that killing a child in the womb through abortion is an expression of bodily autonomy, to pretending that abortion is somehow supported by the bible, leftists in Kentucky had carte blanche from the media establishment, like the Lexington Herald Leader, to disseminate their lies and plenty of dark money from wealthy abortion interest groups and radical leftists to do so.
Radical Pro-aborts vs. Weak Pro-Lifers
Radical pro-abortion advocates who support dismembering children into the ninth month worked hard to make their fight seem like a fight for individual freedom. In Kentucky, their campaign advertising focused on keeping abortion safe and legal, and on evil politicians meddling in personal decisions. In Michigan it was all about freedom.
Pro-lifers, severely underfunded, decided to avoid the use of graphic imagery that shows the evil of abortion and instead tried to use ancillary issues such as tax payer funding of abortion and arguments about the confusing nature of the text.
While some of these arguments might be strategically sound, it is undeniable that the pro-life groups avoided using the graphic images which depict abortion as what it is, the intentional murder of preborn children.
In essence, pro-lifers were fighting with both arms tied behind their back. With little to no money, and without using their most powerful tools.
Pro-abortion campaigns always, ALWAYS, out-raise and out-spend pro-life groups. In the five abortion related referendums in 2022, pro-abortion campaigns out-raised pro-lifers in every single campaign.
In Kentucky abortion supporters raised 5 Million to pro-lifers 1 Million dollars.
In California, pro-aborts raised 15 Million to pro-lifers 300,000.
In Montana, pro-aborts raised 1 Million to pro-lifers zero dollars.
In Vermont, abortion proponents raised 570,000 to pro-lifers 20,000 dollars.
Finally, in Michigan, pro-aborts out-raised pro-lifers by 45 Million to 17 Million.
If money talks, it spoke loud and clear in favor of abortion. In total, pro-aborts raised around 67 Million dollars to 18 Million by pro-lifers. In other words, pro-lifers raised and spent about 25% as much money as pro-aborts. Additionally, almost every single Democrat running for office made defining abortion as a fundamental right, the centerpiece of their campaign.
A closer at the funding for the ballot measures, reveals that most of the money raised by abortion proponents, most of which was raised in Michigan and California, came from very large out-of-state donors and abortion interest groups like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.
With a 4:1 fundraising edge and the media overwhelmingly against them, it is hard to see how pro-lifers could win any campaigns.
The Real Reason Pro-Lifers Lost in Kentucky
The reasons why pro-lifers lost are the following:
- Pro-Lifers did not go on the offensive. Pro-lifers could have highlighted the reality of abortion and forced pro-aborts to try and defend the indefensible. This starts with language that clearly describes abortion as the intentional killing of a preborn baby. Instead, by choosing to take a neutral position that abortion is not a state constitutional right, pro-lifers were conceding their most important tool, which is the righteous indignation that people feel when faced with legalized child killing. The groups that support killing children up until the end of pregnancy and even after birth were therefore allowed to be the ‘reasonable’ ones.
- The media bias that enables pro-abortion propaganda is a very high hurdle to clear. Even in the most conservative states, the people who control the media are liberal and share very little of the people’s traditional values. We cannot underestimate the corrupt nature of the media (including Big Tech social media) or their collusion with leftist causes. The negative media bias against the pro-life cause is a massive factor that acts as an in-kind contribution to the pro-abortion campaign in even the most conservative state in the nation. Boycotts and direct pressure should be applied to media outlets in conservative states to force them to be fair in their coverage or else be exposed as pro-abortion agents.
- Although the pro-life cause is noble and righteous, pro-lifers cannot afford to be outspent. If we are serious about abortion being a life or death issue, then we must vote with our pocketbooks. Not a single pro-life campaign in modern history has been able to out-raise and out-spend abortion advocates. Pro-lifers must master the art of fundraising and campaign finance if we hope to be able to compete. In the 2022 midterm election, Americans spent $16.7 billion on candidates and issues. As mentioned before, the combined efforts of pro-lifers for the five abortion referendums raised around $18 million. In other words, pro-lifers barely mustered 0.1% of what was spent in the election to defend and protect the most fundamental right of all, the right to life. While pro-life leadership has been manifestly weak, from Pope Francis giving political cover to pro-abortion Catholics to Mitch McConnell avoiding the subject like the plague, it cannot be denied that pro-lifers themselves have been unwilling to give the necessary support to pro-life campaigns.
- We cannot win by running away from a fight. Having lost their advantage at the US Supreme Court, pro-abortion forces will now redouble their efforts to replicate their referendum wins in every state in the nation. Pro-lifers cannot run away from making the case for the preborn. The base must give generously and hold our elected and church leaders accountable. Pro-lifers must organize to go door to door and to combat the well-funded lies of the abortion industry.
- Rape and incest must be confronted head on. Pregnancy in cases of rape and incest are extremely rare, but abortion advocates know they can hurt the pro-life cause so they focus on it. While people’s compassion for victims of rape can and will always be manipulated by the abortion lobby, pro-lifers must counter with the stories of victims of rape who gave life to the innocent child and children conceived in rape who many would have left to be aborted. These voices MUST be organized and amplified by pro-lifers to counter the pro-abortion narrative.
Prepare for a Barrage of Pro-Abortion Ballot Measures
Encouraged by their recent victories in red states like Kentucky, abortion proponents are already planning to enshrine the evil of abortion in state constitutions throughout the nation.
There are 17 states where citizens may initiate constitutional amendments. In states where the legislature is composed of Democrat majorities, abortion amendments like the California and Vermont “reproductive rights” amendments will continue to be introduced. However, other states, where the legislature is solidly in the hands of pro-life Republicans, will be flooded with dark money to fund these “citizen” initiatives.
According to a Pew report on pro-abortion ballot measures, Abortionists in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Dakota are “discussing strategy and tactics for putting abortion initiatives on the 2024 presidential election ballot.”
Pro-lifers must learn from the defeats in the 2022 midterms and organize early, be prepared to spend a lot of money and frame the question of abortion, not as the denial of women’s rights, but the defense of the fundamental right to life of innocent babies in the womb.
Above all, abortion must be exposed in all its horrid nature.