Mon
Mar 6 2006
03:47 pm

In order for Tennessee to ban abortion, they have to amend the state constitution.  To Tennesseans' familiar with the fight, SJR127 (pdf) is back onthe table. 

According to an alert from ACLU-TN, I received Friday (but was blocked by the damn spam filter), which states, in part:

SJR127, the dangerous constitutional amendment which would amend the
        Tennessee Constitution and remove the right to abortion, is scheduled for its second reading on the Senate Floor on Monday night, March 6. Supporters
of the constitutional amendment hope for the third and final reading of SJR127 on Thursday. March 9. It is vital that pro-choice and pro-privacy folks begin calling their elected officials now and tell them to vote against SJR127.

This lengthy alert includes lots of information that we urge you to share with your friends and family and to use as you urge your state senator and house representative to vote NO on SJR127. Contact information for your state senator and house representative can be found at www.congress.org by entering your zip code and clicking the "state" option.

SJR127 has many sponsors in the Senate and House. While supporters of the resolution - who are on record as anti-choice - say the resolution does not affect access to abortion, they are being disingenuous. Were Roe v. Wade to be overturned, and our State Constitution amended, women in Tennessee would not be protected under the current state constitutional right to privacy that ensures a woman can obtain an abortion. That means that this amendment is paving the way for abortion to be outlawed in this state; were Roe overturned, and our State Constitution amended, the State Legislature could pass a bill outlawing abortion and women seeking abortion would no longer be protected by the privacy right in the State Constitution and we would not be able to pursue a successful challenge to the ban in state court.

      

The thing with Tennessee is to remember that the state constitution provides women the right to privacy, explicitly expressed in a Tennessee Supreme Court ruling in 2000.  In order to ban abortions, antiabortionists must first amend the state constitution. 

And then it's follow the antiabortionist road being lead by South Dakota.

This is a regressive and particularly heinous amendment to Tennessee's Constitution.

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