Amendment 1 to the Tennessee constitution is on Tuesday’s ballot, and I am going to vote “yes” for Amendment 1. The amendment states that “Nothing secures or protects” an individual’s right to an abortion.
This amendment is a response to judicial activism by The Tennessee Supreme Court in 2000, when the court ruled that abortion access is guaranteed as a right to privacy. In the 2000 ruling, the judges eliminated a two-day waiting period for women, mandatory counseling, and a requirement that all second-trimester abortions take place in a hospital instead of a clinic. These preventitive measures that are not in Tennessee are used in states geographically surrounding the state.
Amendment 1 will take the power of determination out of the hands of the courts, and allow the people of Tennessee to make decisions about abortion access. If the citizens of Tennessee should decide in the future they do not want abortions to occur with ease – or, at all – they should have that voice.
Even The New York Times acknowledged last week in an article titled Abortion Capital of Bible Belt? Tennessee Voter Tests That Idea the liberal nature of the 2000 Tennessee Supreme Court ruling. The article states, “Both abortion rights advocates and anti-abortion forces agree that it created a level of protection for abortion higher than that afforded by the federal courts.” This posture on abortion is not reflective of the conservative values in our state.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart.” – Jeremiah 1:5