by Steven Ertelt
February 26, 2008
Nashville, TN (LifeNews.com) — As it has done before, a Tennessee House committee has killed a constitutional amendment that would nullify a state Supreme Court decision misusing the privacy clause in it to create an unlimited right to abortion. The Senate had already approved the measure but the resolution now appears dead for the session.
Last month, senators signed off on the measure, as they have repeatedly before, on a 23-9 margin.
On Tuesday, the House Public Health and Family Assistance Subcommittee defeated SJR-0127 on a 6-3 vote as the Democratic-controlled panel has done before.
In 2006, the full Senate signed off on the idea on a 24-9 vote but the same House subcommittee killed the measure.
Rep. Delores Gresham, the House sponsor of the bill, says she may consider asking the full House for a vote on bringing the bill out of committee. That’s a difficult process that requires 66 of 99 members to be successful.
The proposal says "nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion."
In 2000, 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 struck down numerous pro-life Tennessee laws that were helping women and limiting abortions.
The measure would essentially nullify the decision and allow the state to enact limits on abortion or ban abortions if Roe v. Wade is ever overturned.
The amendment would 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 legislature hasn’t approved it once yet because of the committee.
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.
ACTION: Contact the members of the committee and express your opinion about the vote. Go here for a list of the members.
Related web sites:
Tennessee Right to Life – https://tennesseerighttolife.org