Anti-Choice Tennessee Bill Passes in House

A proposed constitutional amendment to the Tennessee state constitution that would void a 2000 state Supreme Court decision on abortion restrictions was approved by the state House in a 76 to 22 vote yesterday. According to Clarksville Online, the 2000 decision threw out restrictions on abortion including informed consent laws, a 48-hour waiting period prior to the procedure, and a requirement that first trimester abortions be performed in hospital facilities.

The resolution (see PDF) 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.”

The resolution passed in the state Senate in March and passed in the state House Health and Human Resources Committee in a 20 to 7 vote in April. According to the Associated Press, in order to go into law, the resolution must pass by a two-thirds vote in the 2010 General Assembly before being put on the ballot to be approved by voters in the 2014 elections.


Tennessee Senate Joint Resolution 127; Feminist Daily Newswire 4/10/09; Associated Press 5/19/09; Clarksville Online 5/18/09

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