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LEGAL DIGEST: Mobilizing in Kentucky; ADF announces new CEO

Training sessions mobilize pro-life Kentuckians to vote ‘yes for life’

By Tessa Redmond/Kentucky Today

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) – Training sessions held across the commonwealth this summer have equipped Kentucky voters to advocate and rally support for Constitutional Amendment 2, a pro-life measure that will be on the ballot on Nov. 8.

The Yes for Life Alliance hosted trainings across the commonwealth this summer to mobilize Kentuckians to vote “yes for life” on November 8 when a pro-life constitutional amendment is on the ballot. (Kentucky Today/Tessa Redmond)

The amendment, if ratified this fall, would create a new section in the Kentucky constitution that reads: “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.”

The Yes for Life Alliance, a coalition of pro-life organizations, organized the trainings. The alliance is comprised of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, the Kentucky Right to Life Association, the Family Foundation of Kentucky, the Catholic Conference of Kentucky, Sisters for Life and the Commonwealth Policy Center.

“This amendment would ensure that our lawmakers, and therefore us through voting for our elected representatives in Frankfort, continue to have the ability to be the ones to make decisions on these issues,” said David Walls, executive director of The Family Foundation.

Addia Wuchner, executive director of Kentucky Right to Life, encouraged attendees to be actively involved in spreading the word about Constitutional Amendment 2.

“We need you to be a voice for this amendment in your community,” Wuchner said.

Undergirding the need for the amendment is the current legal battle over Kentucky’s trigger abortion ban, Walls added.

When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, abortion was immediately banned in the commonwealth—until a circuit court judge blocked the law. The state’s abortion providers challenged the ban on the basis that the state’s constitutional right to privacy leaves room for the legality of elective abortion. The constitutionality of abortion in Kentucky is still being considered in court, but Constitutional Amendment 2 would end the debate.

Walls also pointed to the pro-life constitutional amendment that failed in Kansas earlier this month as a sobering reminder of the work Kentuckians will have to put in before November 8. “We cannot just assume that this is going to pass,” he said.

A campaign opposing Constitutional Amendment 2 is gaining traction among pro-abortion Kentuckians and, like the Yes for Life Alliance, Protect Kentucky Access has offered training sessions over the summer in an effort to mobilize voters to reject the pro-life measure.

On its website, Protect Kentucky Access asserts that the amendment would outlaw abortion in all cases, costing Kentuckians rights and freedom.

“(The amendment) does not ban abortion,” Wuchner said. “It does not have anything to do with rape, incest, miscarriage or any of the misnomers or misinformation that has been put out there. Those are scaremongering (tactics), and they’re doing a great job right now.”

Wuchner said that the campaign would soon address those objections.

Read the full story here.

Kristen Waggoner to take helm at Alliance Defending Freedom Oct. 1

By ADF Staff

LANSDOWNE, Va. (BP) – Alliance Defending Freedom announced Kristen Waggoner as its new president and CEO Friday (Aug. 19). Waggoner will assume the post on Oct. 1, following Michael Farris, who joined ADF in January 2017, and Alan Sears, who served 23 years as the founding CEO. The ADF board of directors voted unanimously Aug. 11 to name Waggoner to the position after a thorough consideration process. Sears, who hired Waggoner in 2013, also indicated his full and unreserved support for her and the decision of the board. Farris, 71, will serve ADF in a new role advancing the mission of the organization in specific key areas related to his expertise.

Waggoner will continue in her role as general counsel, where her tenure has been marked by a strong emphasis on a proactively minded legal strategy that protects the rights of all people and highlights the tangible harm caused when government violates fundamental freedoms. In addition, Waggoner has ensured that ADF is ready, willing, and able to assist in the more than 10,500 requests for legal help it receives each year.

Under her leadership on the U.S. legal team, ADF has secured 13 of ADF’s 14 U.S. Supreme Court wins since 2011. Waggoner personally argued and won two of these victories before the high court, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (2017) and Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski (2021). She is slated to argue her third, 303 Creative v. Elenis, later this year. Most recently, ADF celebrated the Supreme Court victory that reversed Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in which ADF was honored to serve on the Mississippi legal team defending the law at the Supreme Court and to work with the state’s lawmakers and governor to draft and enact the legislation.

“I’m honored to accept the call to lead ADF,” Waggoner said. “It is an incredible privilege to represent clients around the world who courageously and winsomely advocate for the right to of all people speak freely and to live consistent with their religious beliefs and to partner with our allies and ministry friends to protect these God-given rights. I look forward to helping build an even more powerful alliance to meet the formidable challenges ahead. We remain in a season where our fundamental freedoms face grave threats, so this work is more critical than ever. I am grateful to God and to those who have served before me that ADF is positioned well for this moment. I am especially thankful to Mike Farris for his incredible leadership and support.”

Read the full story here.

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