Tennessee House Debate Coming on Amendment to Limit Pro-Abortion Court Ruling

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 15, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Tennessee House Debate Coming on Amendment to Limit Pro-Abortion Court Ruling

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 15
, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Tennessee state House will hold a debate and vote soon on a constitutional amendment that would limit the reach of an aggressive pro-abortion ruling almost a decade ago from the Tennessee Supreme Court. When the debate occurs, a pro-life groups hopes the amendment is approved with no changes.

The amendment is necessary because the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled 4-1 in 2000 that the state constitution allows unlimited abortions.

The ruling claimed the Tennessee Constitution contains a fundamental abortion right even broader than Roe v. Wade or the federal constitution and it resulted in the striking down of numerous pro-life Tennessee laws that were helping women and limiting abortions.

The Senate has signed off on the amendment as have two House committees.

If passed by the House this session, SJR 127 would be brought back to the next General Assembly in 2011-12 for a required two thirds vote before being placed on the ballot for voters to decide in the next governor’s race in 2014.

Tennessee Right to Life has made the amendment its legislative priority because passage of it is crucial to ever protecting the right to life of unborn children or, at minimum, passing laws that would at least reduce abortions and protect women and children.

"SJR 127 would allow for Tennesseans and our elected officials to once again determine abortion policy in our state," the group told LifeNews.com on Friday.

However, the group says abortion advocates are lobbying extensively to defeat the measure or at amend it with language that would severely weaken it.

"Along with their allies at the ACLU, Planned Parenthood is devoting these final days before Monday’s historic vote to doing everything in their power to fatally amend SJR 127," Tennessee Right to Life notes.

"If Planned Parenthood can add hostile amendments creating circumstances in which the courts are allowed to interpret how and when abortion will be practiced, the pro-life amendment becomes meaningless," TRTL explains.

As a result, the group is calling on pro-life advocates to contact their members of the state House and urge support for SJR 127 without any amendments.

"Even if you’ve previously contacted your state Representative, now is the time to underscore your strongest support for pro-life SJR 127, without amendment," the pro-life group says.

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: Click here to contact your state lawmakers and urge support for the amendment.

Related web sites:
Tennessee Right to Life – https://tennesseerighttolife.org

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