Of the 144 different measures so far on election ballots this November across the country, one of the most important is Tennessee’s Amendment 1. If passed, it will eliminate one of the most egregious state supreme court decisions in U.S. history and open the door to commonsense health and safety standards that will protect the lives of women and unborn children.
In 2000, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled in Planned Parenthood of Middle Tennessee v. Sundquist that the Tennessee constitution contained a broader right to abortion than the US Constitution. The court struck down several abortion regulations including a number of informed consent provisions, the state’s 48-hour waiting period, and a hospitalization requirement for abortions after the first trimester.
Due to the sweeping nature of the decision, elected officials have been blocked from enacting virtually any new abortion regulations, including many basic health and safety standards, in the 14 years since Sundquist leaving Tennessee women vulnerable to industry abuse and neglect.
If passed, Amendment 1 would remove the court-created state right to abortion and make the Tennessee constitution neutral on the issue. This would return control of the issue to the people, through their elected representatives, to decide what laws and regulations should be in place to the extent allowed by federal law.
The Amendment states:
“Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.”
Passage means that vital pro-life bills can finally advance such as true informed consent, bans on abortion after 5 months of pregnancy, enhanced abortion clinic health and safety standards, regulation of abortion-inducing drugs and more.
Unsurprisingly, abortion advocates like Planned Parenthood, who regularly oppose commonsense abortion limitations, have come out strongly against the measure.
One controversial pro-abortion ad against Amendment 1 omits any reference to abortion and simply declares that the measure would enable the government to “control women” and likens the legislature to domineering Islamic radicals:
A victory for Amendment 1 is vital. If passed, Tennesseans could begin enacting new pro-life laws that save lives of both women and their unborn children and neutralize one of the most far-reaching activist court decisions in the nation. A loss would further embolden the efforts of Planned Parenthood and their allies to gain power however they can and then lie in order to keep it.
For more information on how you can be a part of this important effort, please visit Yes on 1.