Senate approves anti-abortion resolution by two-thirds majority

Monday, April 18, 2011 at 5:02pm

The state Senate voted Monday night to ask voters to amend the Tennessee constitution to strip away abortion rights, with supporters saying they want to put “common-sense” restrictions into the law.

The vote was 24-8 — the two-thirds majority needed with two votes to spare. If the House also approves the resolution by a super-majority this session, as seems all but certain, then the measure will go on the ballot for voters to decide in the 2014 elections.

Last year, the House voted by the stunning margin of 76-22 for SJR127, as the anti-abortion amendment to the state constitution is known, and that was before the 2010 elections that gave Republicans even firmer control of the legislature.

Even if voters agree to amend the constitution, abortion still would be legal in Tennessee as long as Roe v. Wade stands. But Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mount Juliet, said the amendment is needed to give the legislature “the right to enact reasonable protections for women’s health and the unborn” such as a 24- or 48-hour waiting period before an abortion can be performed.

“The only way to restore protections is to change the constitution and give the legislature the authority to write common-sense laws,” Beavers told the Senate. “This matter is too important to play politics. Those who oppose it will try to muddy the water and change the focus of what this amendment is all about. This will get us back to neutral ground. Then the people will have the right to vote on it so we can look at the various protections that can be put into law.”

The Senate voted down amendments by Sen. Roy Herron, D-Dresden, to allow for abortions in the case of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother.

“It will be my intent to vote for SJR127 but only if we protect the women whose lives are in danger and only if we protect the women who are victims of rape or incest,” Herron said.

Recognizing any resistance was futile, pro-choice Democrats didn’t put much of a fight. Sen. Beverly Marrero, D-Memphis, kept it short: “I do represent women who are pro-choice in Tennessee. Women should have a right to make decisions about their own body.”

162 Comments on this post:

By: PhiDelt496 on 4/18/11 at 8:30

Roe v. Wade should be overturned, because it is legally a bad decision. There is no right to privacy in The Constitution, but the Supreme Court "made" one even though it is a clear overreach of their powers. I am pro-choice, but I must state that it is tempered by an opinion that the father (outside of rape, incest, or other criminal acts) should have a say in the decision. Too often, the children are used as leverage or bargaining chips in legal battles over adults who should know better. You cannot force a woman to carry a child to full term when she doesn't want to, or force her to abort the pregnancy, but the father should be able to absolve himself of his legal obligations if the mother insists on carrying out the pregnancy against is objections. Or have some say if she insists on abortion and he is against it.

This amendment seems to be well on its way to being ratified, but should be carefully considered by all Tennesseans.

By: pswindle on 4/18/11 at 9:19

Words fail me with decisions made by the GOP. The churches ae taking over the state.

By: HokeyPokey on 4/19/11 at 5:47

Which one of you bright spots will tell us why it's do darn important to get this on the ballot in 2012?

By: Ingleweird on 4/19/11 at 5:53

There is no god.

By: gdiafante on 4/19/11 at 5:59

Again, this shouldn't surprise anyone...it's Tennessee. There are stereotypes about this state for a reason.

By: treehugger7 on 4/19/11 at 6:05

More garbage legislation from the republicans, instead of focusing on jobs! If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament! If these people care so much for the unborn, ADOPT!

By: Loner on 4/19/11 at 6:14

Again, the Judeo-Christian theocrats in the TN statehouse are proving why and how faith-based governance and secular, pluralistic democracy cannot co-exist.

These godly politicians, who think of their political duties as their personal ministry for Christ, are united in their opposition for an American woman's right to choose.

These same pious theocrats are the creators and supporters of the Hyde Amendment, which forbids giving US foreign aid to any nation that also funds state-subsidized "abortion mills".

These Judeo-Christian disciple-politicians are also the biggest and loudest American supporters of the apartheid Jewish State in Palestine and they are routine apologists for the brutal actions of the Israeli Defense Forces and the Israeli Mossad's death-squads.

Here's the rub: According to Friends of Efrat Israel, tens of thousands of elective abortion services are provided to Israeli women every year, in state-sponsored abortion clinics. Don't take my word for it, Google "Friends of Efrat Israel".

Israel is the biggest recipient of US foreign aid and has been for decades. This aid is given in contravention of the Hyde Amendment.

So, a few questions are in order:

Why do American mega-pastors, televangelists and other Right-to-life zealots let Israel get away with this state-sponsored "murder of the unborn"?

Where is the outcry about this from Mae Beavers and the rest of the Christian theocrats in the Tennessee Statehouse?

Are these people actually anti-Semites who want every Jew to pack up and go to war-torn Israel?

Are these godly Christians condoning and actually financing the killing of Jewish unborn children?

They cannot claim ignorance on this issue; the facts are out there. This is high hypocrisy.

By: PhiDelt496 on 4/19/11 at 6:19

Actually, if you read, this bill was put forth last congress and must be voted on in this congress. Then it MUST go to public referendum, but not till 2014. Please read the process to amend the State Constitution before you go blaming the GOP for focusing on other things. Also, it has to go to public referendum, so if it is not inline with the will of the public, it will fail. Issues like this are why State's Rights are so important. If we rely on the Federal Government to make all of our decisions, the people of Tennessee would have to bow to the will of Illinois, New York, and California since they have such large populations. That is why Tennesseans should decide what is best for them in Tennessee, and New Yorkers should decide what is best for them in New York. Abortion is an issue that the states should decide on their own. If you want an abortion and you live in a state that doesnt allow it, move or convince the majority of Tennesseans to change their minds.

By: gdiafante on 4/19/11 at 6:26

That goes directly against the will of the founders. The Republic was never meant to be a slave to the majority.

Phi, I think you need to read Federalist No. 10. It clearly states, by the father of the Constitution, that direct democracy is a danger to individual rights and advocates a representative democracy in order to protect individual liberty from majority rule.

Oh, and by the way, the states rights issue was decided 150 years ago.

By: Moonglow1 on 4/19/11 at 6:32

Moonglow1: Why are we fighting the Taliban in Afganistan when they are right here in TN. Mae Beavers again. I am sure she is a member of the ALEC & faithfully carrying out their agenda. She does not have the intelligence to engage in critical thinking. The United States could save $1 billion per day by getting out of Afganistan & instead fight the Taliban right here in TN. It's the Butts & Beavers show in TN. (Butts R-Columbia-Aqua Net) & Beavers (abortion & long form birth certificates). They represent the TN Taliban. What will these theo-tea nuts think of next? Mandatory head scarves for women in public? This is Sharia Law TN style.

By: Loner on 4/19/11 at 6:43

Amen, brothers GD and Moonglow.

PhiDelt is a Civil War Re-enactor? He's carrying the torch (and a pitch-fork) for states rights....he thinks of the United States as a plural noun, not a singular noun....I sense that Phi Delt is an unrepentant and unapologetic secessionist. Can I get a witness?

By: Loner on 4/19/11 at 6:47

Moonglow, from Beavis & Butthead to Beavers & Butts? The truth is often stranger than fiction. Mae Beavers is Cornholio? She seems to need TP for her bung-hole.

By: PhiDelt496 on 4/19/11 at 6:48

Direct Democracy is only used to amend the Constitution. That is how it is put forth in the Constitution of the State of Tennessee. Plus, there is no provision for the general public to put forth amendments to the constitution, only to approve what has already been passed by representative legislature. I see this process as more of a check against the government by the people than a form of direct democracy. Most issues handled by government are far too complex for the general public to understand and make an informed opinion on. That is how I interpret Jefferson's opinions on the subject.

The State's Rights issue was not "settled" 150 years ago, it was more clearly defined. The States have no right to pass any law contriadictory to Roe v. Wade, but the Roe v. Wade decision was a terrible legal decision. The court "invented" a right to privacy that exists nowhere in the Constitution. The decision should be overturned on legal principle, not moral. At that point the State's should have the right to enact laws that REPRESENT the will of the people within certain moral guidelines. The Federal Government would never be able to pass a law banning abortions nationwide, so it would fall to the States to decide.

By: gdiafante on 4/19/11 at 6:57

So, to summarize, the general public should not be trusted to understand complex issues, yet should be allowed to determine the complex issue of abortion.

Right.

Again, I refer you to Federalist No. 10. Pay close attention to Madison's definition of faction and a large Republic's defense against such.

And, it very much applies to this issue since it's the USSC that determines what is constitutional, not the states.

By: revo-lou on 4/19/11 at 6:58

If there is not a huge democrat turn out for the next 10 elections, we will have no one else to blame for the down fall of this state.

By: Moonglow1 on 4/19/11 at 7:02

Moonglow1: I just read where UT Knoxville is pushing back on the proposal to allow guns on campus-one of the many foolhardy legislative bills being proposed by these theo-tea nuts. Of course UT is pushing back on this. They are led by people with brains. Unlike Butts &Beavers. Although I fear these theo-tea nuts will retaliate against UT as they do with anyone that opposes them. Remember they laughed at the Vanderbilt professors who petitioned the legislature not to teach creationism. The theo-tea nuts are enacting laws that are in direct opposition to our democracy and instead support their ideology.

Loner: insightful post. I had also heard that abortions are legal in Israel & we all know the American theo's support Israel. I think they believe "the second coming" is going to happen in Israel. I wonder what God will do when he steps out of his space ship & finds out abortions are legal in Israel.

By: PhiDelt496 on 4/19/11 at 7:05

"United States" is a plural noun as it was intended to be from the beginning. I am not a Civil War reenactor, nor a member of any Confederate Group. I am not a seccesionist, but I do believe that we have grown WAY to dependant on government for our general needs (State and Federal). That is not government "of the People, by the People, and for the People"it is People of the Government, by the government, and for the government. That is not what the founders intended. A Revolution is not required to fix these issues, because WE are the problem not the Government. We elect these goons and then get pissed when they do stupid things. We dont take responsibility for our actions, our debts, our children, and expect the government to bail us out. The price for that bailout is our Liberty! We are no longer free to live as we wish, think as we wish, and treat others as we wish, the government feels it is their place to interfere will all of that. I am not an anarchist, but wish that more people understood the concept of Liberty and how it is infringed upon. Read my first post for my opinion on the actual topic of abortion, not my opinion about the Roe v. Wade decision. Two totally different things.

By: gdiafante on 4/19/11 at 7:06

It's a red state, revo. And I believe the correct term is "free fall".

By: house_of_pain on 4/19/11 at 7:08

I vote for unrestricted abortions.
Retroactive, in some cases...

By: Moonglow1 on 4/19/11 at 7:09

Moonglow1: one more thought. This legislature opposes the right to vote as demonstrated by the passage of the voter I'd law. So I hope all enlightened people in TN have voter IDs.

By: gdiafante on 4/19/11 at 7:11

This country has problems, that's for sure, but it would do many a great deal of good to take a step back and realize just exactly what we have here, now, in our country.

It's never going to be perfect, that realm doesn't exist. But when we allow fanatics, zealots and fundamentalists to determine the course of our country, there's a problem.

By: budlight on 4/19/11 at 7:12

If the government pays for abortions, then the people should expect the government to weigh in on the rights of the unborn. After all, getting pregnant is by choice most of the time. If a woman does not want to get pregnant and have a child, she should make the choice before she gets pregnant. That would be logical.

By: gdiafante on 4/19/11 at 7:20

Notice your use of the term choice, bud. That's the issue.

By: Loner on 4/19/11 at 7:20

Yep, PhiDelt is a Confederate sympathizer, he doesn't believe that the states rights issue was settled by the American Civil War. What a pity, 618,000 of the best and brightest died in the conflict, apparently in vain.

PhiDelt piously pontificated: "Most issues handled by government are far too complex for the general public to understand and make an informed opinion on."

That's probably true, the laws are too complex for the lawmakers themselves to fully comprehend...and that is by design, not accident.

Today, the laws are written by single-interest lobby groups who finance the election campaigns of the bill's sponsors. Politicians merely introduce the canned legislation....usually with grandstanding rhetorical flourish.

If, in a representative democracy, the elected representatives are financially beholden to special interests, then individual liberties are in as much, if not more danger than they would be under a direct democracy model....IMHO.

Gerrymandering has short-circuited the representative democratic process.

Virtually unlimited campaign financing has also been qualitatively ruinous to the democratic process and was never envisioned by the Founders; they would be dumb-founded to witness these unforeseen perversions of their grand plans.

By: budlight on 4/19/11 at 7:23

G, who pays the dollars for the "choice"? If I want a new pair of shoes, I have a choice to buy them and pay for them. I'm against any government funds for abortion. If a woman wants a choice, she should pay for her own choices. NOT tax payers; not with government funds.

By: HighlyAnnoyed on 4/19/11 at 7:24

This state is full of a bunch of religious retards. Hey, I've got an idea. Let's go backwards in time 50 years. Why don't we start taking away women's right to vote while we are at it. And, let's not stop there, let's segregrate the schools again too. I just know that's what some of you religious rednecks really want. Instead of putting a Choose Life license plate on your huge SUV, why don't you learn to choose to stay out of other people's business.

By: budlight on 4/19/11 at 7:28

Highly annoyed, it becomes the business of "others" when taxpayer dollars are used to pay for it. So, let's remove the tax dollars from the equation. And besides that, some people are not always aware of the long term consequences of abortion. After all, life begins at conception or else why would it be called life?

By: Radix on 4/19/11 at 7:29

PhiDelt,

Differing points of view aren't accepted here. If you don't post in line with a radical far left agenda (and provide supplemental conspiracy theories), then you are a Nazi-Talaban-Redneck-Confederate.

I don't think anyone read the article that this will be a referendum, and that the voters will decide. Not metal giants we're dealing with....

By: Loner on 4/19/11 at 7:33

Thank you, Moonglow. When I see high hypocrisy, I feel obliged to point it out. I hope that Butts & Beavers read that (Israeli abortions) post too....I'd like to hear their answers to my questions. I imagine that they would claim ignorance on that issue....their ignorance is well-established, that flimsy excuse might fly with the faithful....but not with me. These theocrats are anti-Semites disguised as Christian Zionists...that's the more logical explanation for their silence on the Israeli abortion issue. Remember, the Klan hates Jews too....and those Klan values are still held in high respect in many areas of the Old Confederacy.

By: PhiDelt496 on 4/19/11 at 7:33

Good point gdiafante. Just remember that whoever gets power seems to become fanatics, zealots, and fundamentalists. No matter which side of the aisle they come from. They ALL have an agenda to push instead of a people to serve!

By: gdiafante on 4/19/11 at 7:35

"I don't think anyone read the article that this will be a referendum, and that the voters will decide. Not metal giants we're dealing with...."

Oh sweet irony...lol

By: Loner on 4/19/11 at 7:37

Budlight wrote, "I'm against any government funds for abortion".

Except for the incredibly generous US aid to Israel and its state-sponsored abortion clinics.....right, Bud?

By: girliegirl on 4/19/11 at 7:38

A few months ago, I read a comment in a Houston paper:

It is rather comical that certain individuals who would request the death sentence of an unborn human should not then face mandatory sterilization. Why are you pregnant? More importantly, what disease did you just spread through out the community?

Whoa. Whether you agree or not with that writer, he did make a valid point. To have sexual relations is usually a consensual act. Otherwise, you would be addressed in a Rape Unit at a local hospital. Why should the state of TX pay for your mistakes, usually repeatedly, as noted in recent studies there.

In an abortion clinic, there are very few teenagers, from what I've noticed. The majority of participants are white and of reasonable income, judging the expensive handbags they were toting. (just sayin') I've noticed that if a person is going to have an opinion on a matter, it's best to see it first hand rather than stand in the peanut gallery and then comment.

By: PhiDelt496 on 4/19/11 at 7:38

And what about the 5 Democratic Senators that voted for this measure? Are they Tea Partiers as well?

By: Loner on 4/19/11 at 7:43

PhiDelt asks, "And what about the 5 Democratic Senators that voted for this measure? Are they Tea Partiers as well?"

I'd say they were DINOS, not tea baggers...doing what they can to survive in a Tennessee Tsunami of Hate. They're clinging desperately to any debris that will keep them afloat....survival, it's human nature.

By: Radix on 4/19/11 at 7:44

PhiDelt: No they are Pro-segregation-Nazi-Talaban-Redneck-Confederates... LOL

By: gdiafante on 4/19/11 at 7:46

They are sure pandering to the tea baggers, Phi.

But like I've said, this is TN. This kind of vote isn't surprising. This is the state where Northerners are still refered to as damn Yankees and carpetbaggers.

By: revo-lou on 4/19/11 at 7:46

{Radix on 4/19/11 at 8:29
PhiDelt,

Differing points of view aren't accepted here. If you don't post in line with a radical far left agenda (and provide supplemental conspiracy theories), then you are a Nazi-Talaban-Redneck-Confederate.

I don't think anyone read the article that this will be a referendum, and that the voters will decide. Not metal giants we're dealing with....}

At least you know your place, Megatron.

By: gdiafante on 4/19/11 at 7:49

He's right though, we aren't metal giants.

Unless I'm an honorary member of Metallica and no one told me...

By: PhiDelt496 on 4/19/11 at 7:58

And sorry it was 4 Dems. Jim Kyle wasnt there. The math didnt look right anyway.

By: Radix on 4/19/11 at 8:02

"Moonglow1: one more thought. This legislature opposes the right to vote as demonstrated by the passage of the voter I'd law. So I hope all enlightened people in TN have voter IDs."

How do you get from requiring IDs (or "I'd" as you say) to opposing the right to vote? Obviously yours should be revoked.

By: Radix on 4/19/11 at 8:06

Loner: "I'd say they were DINOS, not tea baggers...doing what they can to survive in a Tennessee Tsunami of Hate. They're clinging desperately to any debris that will keep them afloat....survival, it's human nature."

Loner: DINO usually refers to a conservative who runs as a Dem in a liberal district, then tends to vote conservative. Is that what you're saying they are?

By: budlight on 4/19/11 at 8:10

Loner on 4/19/11 at 8:37
Budlight wrote, "I'm against any government funds for abortion".

Except for the incredibly generous US aid to Israel and its state-sponsored abortion clinics.....right, Bud?

Loner, wrong! I am 100% against government funds for abortion on any continent. AND I'm 100% against the U.S. sending funds to ANY country for foreign aid. If we have no debt, ALL of our roads are 100% up and running, bridges in good shape, military funded and we have a surplus of money in our government bank account, then maybe send some money for foreign aid. BUT we are covered up in debt and our citizens pay the taxes so our country should get it's self in top shape.

So no, no money to Israel. I'm sure that surprises you, since I'm a Christian. I do give money to church and charity. MANY citizens, probably yourself included, make donations for other countries.

By: pswindle on 4/19/11 at 8:13

I can't believe that TN is so desperate that the likes of Mae Beavers can get elected, and make decisons that change the lives of people, and not for the better. I have heard for many months, "government stay out of my life ." But since the republicans now have the majority in TN, they have done nothing but makes laws that are very intrusive in our daily lives. TN democrats made great decisions to move our state forward, but now we are moving back to the period where women have no rights and the rights of most will be taken away. About obortion, how many men hang around when they get a woman pregnant? How many women ae left to raise the children by themselves? Women of TN, wake up before all of our lives are destroyed and we are under the total rule of a man and the church. Scary thougth!

By: Loner on 4/19/11 at 8:14

By: Radix on 4/19/11 at 8:44

PhiDelt: No they are Pro-segregation-Nazi-Talaban-Redneck-Confederates... LOL

I agree on the concept, radix, but that description makes for a lousy acronym: PNTRC...you gotta buy a vowel. Try buying an "A".

That would yield: "TN-CRAP", the new and improved acronym for: Taliban Nazi - Confederate Redneck Association of Pro-segregationists.

Makes for a great bumper sticker.

By: Loner on 4/19/11 at 8:16

Radix: DINO is the acronym for Democrat In Name Only. Like the RINO, or Republican In Name Only. Both are considered endangered species.

By: Radix on 4/19/11 at 8:24

pswindle Most people in the US oppose abortion. I would bet its even higher in TN. I certainly sympathize with you that many men are negligent, but if abortion is wrong, its still wrong if the dad bails. As someone so aptly pointed out above, sex takes two, and everyone knows going in what the risks are. Maybe that is the moment the "choice" should occur. Or is that expecting too much of people?

By: revo-lou on 4/19/11 at 8:27

{Radix on 4/19/11 at 9:24
pswindle Most people in the US oppose abortion. I would bet its even higher in TN. I certainly sympathize with you that many men are negligent, but if abortion is wrong, its still wrong if the dad bails. As someone so aptly pointed out above, sex takes two, and everyone knows going in what the risks are. Maybe that is the moment the "choice" should occur. Or is that expecting too much of people?}

Ah, "heavy metal shavings”. Teanuts to not constitute most people.

By: house_of_pain on 4/19/11 at 8:28

"Most people in the US oppose abortion."

I doubt this statement is true.

By: Radix on 4/19/11 at 8:28

Loner I know what it stands for. My point is, if they are DINO's, then they are really conservatives and what you said below doesn't add up.

"PhiDelt asks, "And what about the 5 Democratic Senators that voted for this measure? Are they Tea Partiers as well?"

I'd say they were DINOS, not tea baggers...doing what they can to survive in a Tennessee Tsunami of Hate. They're clinging desperately to any debris that will keep them afloat....survival, it's human nature."