Anti-abortion amendment now moves to citizens for 2014 vote

Friday, May 20, 2011 at 11:59am

In the climax to a decade-long struggle by the pro-life movement, the state House decided overwhelmingly Friday to ask voters to decide whether to amend the state constitution to strip away abortion rights.

The 76-18 House vote is the final one necessary to put the question on the statewide 2014 ballot, and the chamber burst into applause as it was recorded.

“Without life, there is no liberty,” Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville, told the House. “That’s the heart of the matter.”

It was 14 votes more than the two-thirds required. Last month, the Senate also voted by a super majority for SJR127, as the anti-abortion amendment to the state constitution is known.

For years, Democrats were able to bottle up SJR127 in the House. But with Republicans in firm control of the legislature after last year’s elections, passage was such a foregone conclusion that few lawmakers even bothered to speak against the measure Friday.

“If this amendment goes on,” Rep. Mike Kernell, D-Memphis, argued, “the legislature is no longer prohibited from violating someone’s body and actually requiring abortions.”

The House defeated an amendment proposed by Rep. Gary Odom, D-Nashville, to protect the right to abortions in the case of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother.

Even if voters agree to amend the constitution, abortion still would be legal in Tennessee as long as Roe v. Wade stands. But its proponents said the amendment is needed to nullify a 2000 state Supreme Court ruling that found greater abortion rights in the state constitution than exist in the U.S. Constitution.

If voters agree to amend the constitution, it would give the legislature the right to enact what proponents call reasonable restrictions on abortion, such as a 24- or 48-hour waiting period before an abortion can be performed.

11 Comments on this post:

By: Nitzche on 5/20/11 at 4:01

you mean pro-life?

By: revo-lou on 5/20/11 at 4:35

If there is not a massive record democrat turn out in the next elections there had NEVER be another word of discontent with our government!

By: NewYorker1 on 5/20/11 at 4:50

It doesn't matter, if I women wants an abortion, she'll find a way around the system. Trust me. It's like trying to stop water, it will eventually leak in other ways.

By: pswindle on 5/20/11 at 5:25

If this is passed, there will so many deformed babies and babies that are not viable that the state cannnot take care of them. If they are alive, someone will have to care for them, and the cost would break anyone. The church has a lot of uneducated individuals and this is their way of thinking. If in doubt visit Vanderbilt or other places that can show you freaks of nature. TN has become a state of idots.

By: dargent7 on 5/21/11 at 4:55

Stripping away a woman's right to an abortion, coupled with the denial of sex education for teens (as young as 11), is a formula for complete disaster.
Tennessee's mental make-up plays right into it.

By: treehugger7 on 5/21/11 at 8:22

Like the old bumper sticker says: If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament. May all the legislators rot....Take away all our rights...What, "focused like a laser on jobs" yeah right...maybe all the legislators will be raptured...we can only hope...

By: localboy on 5/21/11 at 12:58

Strip away state funding for abortions...ok, that's a valid approach, especially if approved in a referendum.
Strip away the right to choose an abortion (ie criminalize) for a minority by a majority...uh, slippery slope.
Of course, they can't even enforce the HOV lanes...

By: 1 gals opinion on 5/21/11 at 3:46

Why not give the people who insist on keeping having kids they can't or won't support a way out. All republicans and evangelicals should have to be responsible for all children that they insist on coming into this world who would have been aborted! I thoroughly agree that people should not expect the government to pay to raise more than one child let the mother be sterilized if she wants help with more than one child. The world is overpopulated and ignorant people disregard this and try to see how many kids they can have to get all kinds of government help. republicans don't want to provide any government programs to help people, so they should be glad some would be aborted instead of wanting government help. Or maybe they enjoy seeing suffering as they want all babies brought into this world, but want to take all government help from children who are already in this world. It would be better to take care of children already in this world. Why would anyone want deformed babies to be brought into this world?

By: 1 gals opinion on 5/21/11 at 3:46

Why not give the people who insist on keeping having kids they can't or won't support a way out. All republicans and evangelicals should have to be responsible for all children that they insist on coming into this world who would have been aborted! I thoroughly agree that people should not expect the government to pay to raise more than one child let the mother be sterilized if she wants help with more than one child. The world is overpopulated and ignorant people disregard this and try to see how many kids they can have to get all kinds of government help. republicans don't want to provide any government programs to help people, so they should be glad some would be aborted instead of wanting government help. Or maybe they enjoy seeing suffering as they want all babies brought into this world, but want to take all government help from children who are already in this world. It would be better to take care of children already in this world. Why would anyone want deformed babies to be brought into this world?

By: Loner on 5/22/11 at 5:54

The US "right-to-life" crowd wants to outlaw abortions for American women; but these same Christians have never complained about the 3 billion in annual US aid going to a country that aborts, on average, some 50,000 fetuses per year, (close to 20% of all its pregnancies), in government-sponsored "abortion mills". Incredibly, the US media, the US Congress and the White House never mention this anomaly.

The name of this US-tax-supported, abortion-friendly nation? It's Israel, the Jewish state in Palestine....the "Chosen People" in the "Promised Land".

Few, if any Christian pastors have ever spoken out about US-support for Israel's abortion mills. Why the deafening silence?

Don't take my word for it; check out this website:

http://www.friendsofefrat.org/

By: Cookie47 on 5/22/11 at 7:26

I'm personally against abortion but who are we to tell a woman what to do with her body. The decision should be between the woman, her god, and her doctor. The father should have a say as well as long as the baby was not conceived through rape or incest.

As for funding, if the baby was conceived through rape or incest and criminal charges are filed, the abortion should be covered by insurance. If through, for example, a one night stand, the cost is all on the man and woman. Consequences of their own actions, shall we say.