Tennessee State Senate Approves Amendment to Nullify Abortion Decision
by Steven Ertelt
March 9, 2006
Nashville, TN (LifeNews.com) — The Tennessee state Senate has approved a state constitutional amendment that would nullify a state Supreme Court decision misusing the privacy clause in the state’s constitution to create an unlimited right to abortion. The amendment would say the state constitution does not create an abortion right.
The amendment will go to voters for their approval but only after the state legislature approves it by a two-thirds vote in two consecutive legislative sessions.
The Senate voted 24-9 in favor of the amendment, which now heads to the state House for consideration.
Sen. David Fowler, a Republican, is the sponsor of the amendment. Last year it received approval from the Senate but was held up in a state House committee.
Pro-life groups support the amendment and Tennessee Right to Life said it would respond to the landmark abortion decision of 2000 in which the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled 4-1 that the Tennessee Constitution contains a fundamental abortion right even broader than Roe v. Wade or the federal constitution.
The decision ended up striking down numerous pro-life Tennessee laws that were helping women and limiting abortions.
"Tennessee’s pro-abortion policy is now among the most radical of any state or nation with no pro-life law safe from legal challenge," TRTL said in a statement. "SJR 127 would make clear that the publicly accountable state Legislature is responsible for public policy on abortion–not a handful of activist judges."
Abortion advocates oppose the measure because they consider it a stepping stone to banning abortions in the state if the U.S. Supreme Court ever overturns Roe v. Wade.
Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, told the Associated Press the amendment "is an all-out attack on the women of Tennessee."
In 2003, 14,933 abortions were reported performed on women residing in Tennessee. In 2004, the number dropped to 13,902, a 6.9% decline or 1,031 fewer abortions.
Related web sites:
Tennessee Right to Life – https://tennesseerighttolife.org