Abortion in Tennessee

A proposed amendment to the state constitution would limit abortion rights in Tennessee to only those allowed by the Federal government, and no more. This amendment was proposed by Senator David Fowler (R-Signal Mt). The bill must be passed by both houses of the legislature twice (second time by a 2/3 majority), then be OKed by a majority of the number of voters who vote in the next governors race. The bill is largely in response to a Tennessee Supreme Court ruling in 2000, which stated the Tennessee State constitution provided for even more abortion rights than outlined by Roe v Wade

I personally support this amendment. The 2000 ruling was clearly a case of judicial activism run amok. I have read the state constitution, and abortion is not mentioned anywhere in it. It’s a shame that non-elected officials feel the need to impose their will on Tennesseans instead of simply doing their jobs (which is to interpret the constitution).

It’s hard to say what this bill’s chances are. If it can make to the ballot, I believe it can get a majority of the vote. Getting 2/3 of the legislature, where both houses are dominated by Democrats, will be difficult. Still, it did pass the committee 11-0, which bodes well for the bill.

I wrote this column about abortion last year. I recognize that it is a polarizing issue. In one of my classes the other day, one of my professors made a good point about it. He said that Roe v. Wade was a bad ruling because it led to a polarized public on the issue. A good, pro-choice liberal, he argued that some sort of compromise could probably have been reached if not for this ruling. I agree to some extent. It’s clear that such a compromise would be preferable to the current situation. However, those of us (like me) who see abortion as the taking of a human life, would not condone it except in very certain situations.

Some might argue that it’s none of my business what a woman does with her body. Fair enough. Speaking as a former fetus however, I think that protecting the weakest among us (the unborn) is a Higher Calling for many. I sincerely hope that Fowler’s amendment is passed.

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