Senate approves anti-abortion resolution by two-thirds majority

Monday, April 18, 2011 at 8:02pm

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 4/19/11 at 8:29

pswindle, Tennessee did not elect Mae Beavers. The people of district 17 did. If you look at the map, it is a VERY rural district. And she represents their views. If she doesnt, then she probably wont get reelected. Same thing as Thelma Harper represents the views of her constituents and if she doesnt, she probably wont get reelected. So dont blame Beavers for representing her constituency.

By: Loner on 4/19/11 at 8:32

Thank you Budlight for clearing that up...you oppose aid to Israel on the grounds that it violates the Hyde Amendment. I admire your honesty and your stand on principles.

We share common ground, for a change.

I think that if more American Christians knew about the state-sponsored Israeli abortion mills, they would, as a consequence, reconsider the conventional wisdom that underpins the US-Israel "Special Relationship".

The mainstream media, the elected politicians, the churches and the special interest groups do not wish to raise this potential wedge issue. Too many jobs are at stake....too many myths would be at risk...their agenda would be in peril.

IMHO, the most dangerous punctuation mark in the English language is the hyphen connecting Judeo with Christian. The Israeli state-sponsored abortion issue puts political and spiritual pressure on that horrible hyphen....and that makes a lot of Judeo-Christians very nervous.

By: revo-lou on 4/19/11 at 8:34

So, loner you are anti-abortion and support the current path of the TN legislature?

By: Radix on 4/19/11 at 8:37

I found it hard to believe too because the opposition is so loud, but most polls I have seen have it really close to 50/50 with a small majority going pro-life.

Gallup Poll May 3-6 2010
ProLife 47% Pro choice 45%

"Most people in the US oppose abortion."

I doubt this statement is true.

By: gdiafante on 4/19/11 at 8:38

That poll is one year old and what is the margin of error?

Nice try.

By: gdiafante on 4/19/11 at 8:41

Try this one on for size...it's current and it's Fox...

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/03/04/poll-shows-opposition-easing-gay-marriage-abortion-legal-pot/

" A 54 percent majority favored legal abortion, while 42 percent opposed it."

Ooops...

By: revo-lou on 4/19/11 at 8:45

Now gd, don't be dissing radix, he will feel slighted and think that he is a "Nazi-Talaban-Redneck-Confederate."

By: Loner on 4/19/11 at 8:45

Sorry, Radix if that does not "add up" for you, I'll blame your teachers, not you. I don't do remedial math of remedial logic.

Radix wrote, "Most people in the US oppose abortion." That statement is what the master debaters call a "vox populi" appeal. Vox populi is the Latin term for, "voice of the people". It's the equivalent of "everybody knows". There is no empirical evidence to support the premise except that "everybody knows it is true".

So far, Radix seems to be losing this debate and going for the vox populi...what's next, the ad hominem?

Let us continue...

By: Radix on 4/19/11 at 8:51

I said it was really close to 50/50, you are disputing that its close to 50/50 because the poll is a year old? I don't care if it is within the MOE, it probably is. Think things changed that much in a year? You are missing the point. Posters here have the attitude that pro life people are some kind of radical fringe group, when its about half of Americans and I bet more than half in TN.

By: Radix on 4/19/11 at 8:53

Oops Loner,

You most have posted that right after I cited my poll.

By: gdiafante on 4/19/11 at 8:59

Yes, things change in one year. For instance, who would have known a year ago these fanatics would attempt to create TN's own currency, declare Creationism as science, declare that Aqua Net caused global warming and attempt to strip teachers of their right to collective bargaining?

And if you read the article, you'd realize that it's trending toward pro-choice. That's the point.

Sometimes you have to explain it.

By: revo-lou on 4/19/11 at 9:00

Metal heads are that way gd.

By: Loner on 4/19/11 at 9:04

Revo-lou asks a fair question: "So, loner you are anti-abortion and support the current path of the TN legislature?"

No, I am not "anti-abortion" or against a woman's right to choose. I actually support the woman's right to choose argument.

My point is that the Christian Right-to-Lifers are also the Christian Right-to-Exist people. The term "Right-to-Exist" has been all but copyrighted by the Judeo-Christian Zionists...Google it.

Israel, in spite of its state-sponsored abortion mills, is somehow exempted from the Hyde Amendment prohibitions; but the abortion-financing Jewish State receives the most in US aid. How can the Christians reconcile and rationalize this fundamental conflict of values, policiies and beliefs?

I am pointing out the hypocrisy in these theocrats, Revo-lou, I certainly do not support their agenda.

I see this as a potentially powerful wedge issue and I intend to advance this line of argumentation whenever theocrats bring up the abortion issue. They need to be humbled, don't you think? I hate smug certitude....I'm an anti-certitudist.

By: Antisocialite on 4/19/11 at 9:05

Here's the thing folks, abortion will continue to happen no matter if Roe vs. Wade overturned or not. This has been proved in countless countries throughout the world, and throughout time. Sometimes a baby is not a 'blessing,' and no amount of righteous indignation or condemnation will change people's individual circumstances or reasons for wanting an abortion. It strikes me as odd that the conservative community would be so up in arms at the Metro Council decision to amend their own non-discrimination policy because of the 'burden that it will place on businesses,' while at the same clamoring for a reason to force pregnant mothers to carry their fetuses to term... as if there is no burden there!

If a reduction in abortions were the goal conservatives would have been on board years ago, but sadly this is most times about ideology and not practicality. Appropriate sexual education and access to birth control is the absolute best method of not only preventing unwanted pregnancies, but also preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, yet the policies of conservatives continue to cling to the abstinence-only programs that gave us the first increase in 15-19 year old pregnancy rates since the 80's in 2006.

I'd like to bring up another point that I doubt many of you conservative commentators have thought much about; specifically the failure of your so-called representatives to actually do anything about this issue. Seriously, there are only two reasons I can think of that no progress has really been made on this issue for about 45 years, despite a period under the last administration with control of both the legislative houses and the executive branch. The first reason could be that your views are, in fact, the minority opinion in the country. Which I can only imagine would be a bitter pill to swallow, but not nearly as bitter as the other possibility... that your representatives really don't want to overturn the ruling.

Just look at how many of you pour into this thread to 'defend the rights of the unborn.' You are clearly passionate about it, and passionate voters are way more likely to actually turn out and vote. Have you ever wondered why abortion only seems to really get talked about by party leadership around election years (which are becoming harder and harder to differentiate due to the constant campaign climate)? Have you ever wondered why whenever mega-corporations get in trouble party leadership quickly and efficiently funnel trillions into their coffers, yet the wishes of the base are wholly ignored (this actually applies to both parties equally)?

I'm pro-choice, but seriously people if you can't see the game here it's probably because you are the one being played.

By: Radix on 4/19/11 at 9:06

Gdiafante,
Quoting Foxnews? wow...

Here's one:
FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll. Jan. 18-19, 2011. N=900 registered voters nationwide. Margin of error ± 3.
"On the issue of abortion, would you say you are more pro-life or more pro-choice?"
Pro Life 50% - Pro Choice 42%

My point stands. The nation is nearly evenly divided on abortion, pro life people are not some radical fringe group, and in TN I would speculate that they are the majority.

By: revo-lou on 4/19/11 at 9:15

Loner, I think you need to be fair with your argument. You do not care about abortions in Israel, you just care that they are funded, in you opinion, by the US. Maybe I should qualify my question further. What is your position on “who” pays for abortion here in the US?

By: PhiDelt496 on 4/19/11 at 9:23

Nice post Antisocialite.

I agree with most of you statements, but differ in a couple.

1. I am not "anti-abortion" but do think that the woman should not be able to decide for both parties how to proceed. The father should have some say, I dont know how much and where to draw the line, but to leave him completely out of the equation is wrong.

2. Teenagers are in general idiots. They are going to have sex, no way to stop it, and they are going to do stupid things "in the heat of the moment" and bad things are going to happen. No matter how much you educate them. I agree that education is the best preventative measure for this, but it must be done in a way as to not condone or support teenage sex. Media influences are all to prevelant today that support carefree and casual sex, which is fine if you understand and can handle the risks associated with it. But ultimately someone must bear responsibility for their actions, and abortion should not be used as a get out of jail free card. There is always adoption as an option.

By: revo-lou on 4/19/11 at 9:26

{They are going to have sex, no way to stop it, and they are going to do stupid things "in the heat of the moment" and bad things are going to happen. No matter how much you educate them. I agree that education is the best preventative measure for this, but it must be done in a way as to not condone or support teenage sex.}

READ: Educate teenagers NOT to have sex. TOOL: The bible. PUNISHMENT: Hell.

By: HokeyPokey on 4/19/11 at 9:30

PREACH IT! Loner!

PhiDelt496: The state of Tennessee does not have a "congress." We are blessed with a State Legislature more properly called the "Tennessee General Assembly."

It was in all the papers, I'm surprised you missed it.

HP

By: PhiDelt496 on 4/19/11 at 9:42

Hokey,
I used the word "congress" lower case meaning an improper noun referencing any session of a legislative body. I did not refer to the General Assembly as "Congress" or as a proper noun to refer to a specific body. See usage #3

con·gress   /n. ˈkɒŋgrɪs; v. kənˈgrɛs, kəŋ-/ Show Spelled
[n. kong-gris; v. kuhn-gres, kuhng-] Show IPA

–noun
1. ( initial capital letter )
a. the national legislative body of the U.S., consisting of the Senate, or upper house, and the House of Representatives, or lower house, as a continuous institution.
b. this body as it exists for a period of two years during which it has the same membership: the 96th Congress.
c. a session of this body: to speak in Congress.
2. the national legislative body of a nation, especially of a republic.
3. a formal meeting or assembly of representatives for the discussion, arrangement, or promotion of some matter of common interest.
4. the act of coming together; an encounter; meeting.
5. an association, especially one composed of representatives of various organizations.
6. familiar relations; dealings; intercourse.
7. coitus; sexual intercourse.

Funny how usage #7 applys to this topic as well!

By: PhiDelt496 on 4/19/11 at 9:44

Almost forgot, copied from Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/congress

Dont want to plagiarize

By: PhiDelt496 on 4/19/11 at 9:45

Revo, you may as well tell them that Santa Clause wont visit if they have sex.

By: Loner on 4/19/11 at 9:49

Reovo, generous US aid to Israel means that the Israelis have the needed funds to finance a state-sponsored, first class, health-care system. That system of socialized medicine provides abortion services for Israeli women for free or at reduced rates.

According to Efrat Israel, some 50,000 Israeli abortions are performed annually....that is a very high rate, considering the population to be roughly 6 million. In spite of that, US Christians still support US aid to the Jewish State. Is this not hypocrisy?

Why doesn't the Hyde Amendment apply to the Israelis, like it does in every other case of US foreign aid?

What's behind the deafening silence in the American pulpits? Not a peep out of these creeps.

Thank you, brother Hokey, I've got the fire in the belly on this one.

By: revo-lou on 4/19/11 at 9:49

{PhiDelt496 on 4/19/11 at 10:45
Revo, you may as well tell them that Santa Clause wont visit if they have sex.}

You missed the point, though, not surprising.

By: Loner on 4/19/11 at 9:50

Reovo = Revo, no harm intended.

By: revo-lou on 4/19/11 at 9:51

Again, loner, my question is, how do you feel about the funding of abortions here in the US? The crux of your arguments should be the same, no matter where they are taking place, wouldn’t you say?

By: Loner on 4/19/11 at 9:55

If poor women need abortion services, here in the states, or anywhere I think that government should help defray expenses, Revo.

There's no double standard for me on this issue.

I am simply calling attention to the hypocrisy of the Christian Right....the double standard folks. For them, abortion is sinful, except for Israelis...go figure.

By: PhiDelt496 on 4/19/11 at 9:58

Revo, I was actually agreeing with your sarcasm.

Loner, please dont tell me that you think this is the first time that organized religion ignores things that dont jive with their message?

By: girliegirl on 4/19/11 at 10:02

Loner: "Right to Exist" That's awesome! It applies to everything we hold dear to us in this country. :-)

By: girliegirl on 4/19/11 at 10:03

Alas, you just pissed off a bunch of extreme Muslim terrorists who would NOT agree that we, as Americans, have that Right to Exist.

By: Radix on 4/19/11 at 10:06

Lou: "READ: Educate teenagers NOT to have sex. TOOL: The bible. PUNISHMENT: Hell."

Lou are you saying that because common sense happens to echo the bible we should avoid it? Surely you aren't making that jump. Kids need to be taught that the only 100% way to avoid all this mess is to abstain. It is an option. There are others too, but you are saying we shouldn't teach that one because it sounds a little Christian? How un-metal giant.

By: PhiDelt496 on 4/19/11 at 10:08

Also, Loner do some research, the Hyde Amendment says nothing about funding abortions in foreign countries. Only domestic funding. The Mexico City Policy is what covers that. If we are going to get knitpicky around here, I guess I will play along.

By: house_of_pain on 4/19/11 at 10:08

If abstinence worked, most of us wouldn't be here...

By: revo-lou on 4/19/11 at 10:13

Loner, the thing is, is that you don’t agree with budlight on principle of funding, only on the funding of/for Israel. They are not the same positions from the same ideology. That is my point.

By: Antisocialite on 4/19/11 at 10:18

Loner said:
Israel, in spite of its state-sponsored abortion mills, is somehow exempted from the Hyde Amendment prohibitions; but the abortion-financing Jewish State receives the most in US aid. How can the Christians reconcile and rationalize this fundamental conflict of values, policiies and beliefs?

I am pointing out the hypocrisy in these theocrats, Revo-lou, I certainly do not support their agenda.

I see this as a potentially powerful wedge issue and I intend to advance this line of argumentation whenever theocrats bring up the abortion issue. They need to be humbled, don't you think? I hate smug certitude....I'm an anti-certitudist.

Loner, I don't believe the Israeli conundrum that you keep referring to is as much of a wedge as you think. The Mexico City Policy has been applied by every Republican administration and rescinded by every subsequent Democratic administration since Reagan first instituted it. It is not in effect currently, but I imagine a majority of conservative Christians support it so calling an act that Obama rescinded hypocrisy on their part is a bit of a stretch.

PhiDelt496 said:
I agree that education is the best preventative measure for this, but it must be done in a way as to not condone or support teenage sex. Media influences are all to prevelant today that support carefree and casual sex, which is fine if you understand and can handle the risks associated with it. But ultimately someone must bear responsibility for their actions, and abortion should not be used as a get out of jail free card. There is always adoption as an option.

PhiDelt496 this is exactly where you and I will never see eye to eye. You seem to think that these women should be forced to carry these fetuses to term almost as a punishment for their irresponsibility, and indeed likening the child to jail all but confirms this sick view. Sorry, but using a child as a life-long reminder of a teenage mistake is probably the most cruel (both on the part of the mother and the child) and unusual punishment that I can think of. It's mind boggling that you would throw adoption out there as some sort of panacea considering the thousands of children in foster care and state custody that can't find a home as is, never mind adding even more to the system. Oh, and lets not forget that the pro-life zealots demanding a repeal of Roe vs. Wade are the very same group that would seek to gut funding for the very services that those teenage mothers, foster homes, and other women's and children's services so desperately need... all in the name of cutting taxes for those individuals and corporations making billions and billions.

Remember Compassionate Conservatism?

Yeah, me neither...

By: Loner on 4/19/11 at 10:20

Thank you for reminding me of that pertinent detail, Phi Delt...the Mexico City Policy (MCP) is the pertinent policy term. That's the Export version of the Hyde Amendment.

Let me rephrase my question:

Why doesn't the Mexico City Policy - the export version of the Hyde Amendment - apply to the Israelis, like it does in every other case of US foreign aid?

PhiDelt wrote, "Loner, please don't tell me that you think this is the first time that organized religion ignores things that don't jive with their message?"

No, I won't tell you that; but don't tru to tell me that this excuses the Christian hypocrisy and the double standards.

By: revo-lou on 4/19/11 at 10:21

Metalhead, let’s be clear on this one thing first, the bible echoes common sense, not the other way around.

As to the rest, my point was, as per Phid, and you, that education must take into account reality. Given that we all KNOW what that reality is, it is fool hardy to ignore it. That does NOT mean by educating you condone. It means you accept reality. The purpose of education is to teach one to understand their actions, to look at themselves and the effect of those actions, and, hopefully, to choose wisely based on those effects. ANYTHING else is oppression.

By: Radix on 4/19/11 at 10:22

House of pain,

Its not a black or white thing. Abstinence in sex ed can be summed up in one sentence; "If you don't do it, you can't get pregnant." That should be included along with the rest of the facts. If that helps kids put it off until later or make better decisions why would you not include it?

Loner,

Can you post some links about this Israeli abortion mill phenomenon? I am curious.

By: revo-lou on 4/19/11 at 10:27

Ah crap, all, prepare for an onslaught of the “Loner Anti-Israel Crusade”!

By: PhiDelt496 on 4/19/11 at 10:27

Anti,

I agree that we will probably never see eye to eye on this and realize my opinion is not a "solution" but more a statement of concerns.

I feel like people dont take enough personal responsibility. That was my intended point and agree that I strayed a little. If the choices are abortion or putting a child into a single parent situation where the single parent is not prepared for life much less life as a parent, then I choose abortion.

By: revo-lou on 4/19/11 at 10:30

{. If the choices are abortion or putting a child into a single parent situation where the single parent is not prepared for life much less life as a parent, then I choose abortion.}

But, that is not your choice! And THAT is the whole damn point!

By: Radix on 4/19/11 at 10:30

revo-lou: Ah crap, all, prepare for an onslaught of the “Loner Anti-Israel Crusade”!

Not from me, I am seriously curious what he is talking about. If he wants to make this a wedge issue, he should be all too happy to oblige.

By: Loner on 4/19/11 at 10:31

Revo wrote, "Loner, the thing is, is that you don’t agree with budlight on principle of funding, only on the funding of/for Israel. They are not the same positions from the same ideology. That is my point."

Revo, common ground can be achieved, perhaps by way of differing motives. Budlight would ban all government funding for abortions, I would not. We both would cut-off aid to Israel if we could, albeit for our own reasons. Common ground, for uncommon reasons.

I never claimed that Budlight and I shared the same ideology, or the same position, for the same reasons, as you infer.

Even a stopped clock is accurate twice a day.

My policy is consistent and clear, the US-Israel special relationship is based on myths, half-truths and time-honored canards.....and hypocrisy.

By: Radix on 4/19/11 at 10:34

"{. If the choices are abortion or putting a child into a single parent situation where the single parent is not prepared for life much less life as a parent, then I choose abortion.}

But, that is not your choice! And THAT is the whole damn point!"

A pro-lifer would contend that no one is qualified to make that choice.

By: revo-lou on 4/19/11 at 10:36

{A pro-lifer would contend that no one is qualified to make that choice.}

"He" can contend all he wants, that doesn't make it so.

By: revo-lou on 4/19/11 at 10:39

{.....and hypocrisy.}

What, you mean like government funding is okay for the people you agree with, but not the ones you don't?

By: house_of_pain on 4/19/11 at 10:41

Radix, my point was that "abstinence only" obviously doesn't work.
Not sure where the "black/white issue" came into play.

By: Loner on 4/19/11 at 10:42

Happy to oblige, Mr. radix...here's a good starting point link:

http://www.friendsofefrat.org/

You may also wish to read my latest journal entry, which addresses this very issue, here:

http://new-york-loner.livejournal.com/

I disagree, Antisocialite, this is a powerful, sleeper, wedge issue...it could be part of the the eventual demise of the "horrible hyphen". I just need to spread the word...it's a lonely job.

In my own experience, I have found that born-agains are ignorant and unprepared with a stock answer, vis-a-vis the state-sponsored Israeli abortion mill issue. It leaves them a bit perturbed, once they hear all about it.

Again, the facts are out there...Google it!

By: Radix on 4/19/11 at 10:42

H of P,

Simply meant abstinence is not an all or nothing proposition.

By: Radix on 4/19/11 at 10:44

LOL should clarify that I meant *TEACHING* abstinence is not an all or nothing proposition. :-)