Thursday, May 12, 2005

AG: TN Lawmakers Should Watch It When Messing With Abortion Law (That Means Dems Too)

Womb-Envious Lawmakers Saving Abortion Proposals for Election Year

I've pasted the story on the Attorney General's ruling below, but first a little background.

Although lawmakers have filed a slew of anti-choice bills, it appears they aren't going anywhere this year. No doubt, in their infinite self-interested wisdom, legislators have decided to wait until election year before resuming their campaign to make Tennessee women reproduce every single man in the state.

Below are the two proposed anti-choice amendments that are the most popular among legislators. We can expect to see them back with a vengance come election year 2006.

''Nothing in this constitution secures or protects the right to an abortion or the funding thereof. The legislature shall have the sole authority to make and shall make such provisions for abortion as it determines are reasonably necessary for victims of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother (sic).''

"Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion."

If you go to the legislature's site and type in 'abortion' on the legislation page, you'll find the above bills along with many others, some of which offer revealing glimpses into the minds of men who obviously have too much time on their hands.

Such as:

Redefines person to mean a live human being with life beginning when the ovum is fertilized by the male sperm; permits abortions only if the mother’s life is at risk and after the physician certifies certain information.

Gee, good thing they stipulated that it must be 'male' sperm. Maybe they should spell out 'female' in front of 'ovum' just to avoid confusing themselves any further.

Here's another one:

Redefines person to mean a live human being with life beginning when brain activity commences, which is five weeks after a fetus is conceived; permits abortions after the first five weeks of pregnancy only if the mother’s life is at risk and . . .

As soon as they make up their minds (sic) about exactly when one becomes a person, I'm filing for back child support. Child support payments commencing at the moment of conception, that sounds like a plan to me.

When lawmakers do resume their campaign to exercise their gawd-given right to return women to the 19th century, it wouldn't be a bad idea to remind them of the state Attorney General's recent ruling:

AG: Lawmakers don't have free rein over abortion laws

Lawmakers have the authority to restrict abortion rights or make laws concerning abortion, but face strict scrutiny from the Tennessee Supreme Court and high standards under the state constitution.

Rep. Mike Turner, D-Old Hickory, questioned whether the Legislature has such authority following the state Supreme Court's ruling in the case of Planned Parenthood v. (former Gov. Don) Sundquist in 2000.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court declared that the Tennessee Constitution grants women a greater right to abortion than does the U.S. Constitution. The court struck down provisions setting out physician-only counseling (consent) requirements, a mandatory two-day waiting period and medical emergency exceptions.

The Supreme Court also determined that since the right to privacy is a fundamental right, statutes restricting it must be evaluated under the "strict scrutiny" standard.

In an opinion released this week, Summers said that each proposed abortion restriction or law brought by lawmakers must also adhere to the same standard (emphasis added).

Under this standard, a restriction upon a woman's right to obtain an abortion will be struck down unless the state meets its burden of showing that the regulation is "justified by a compelling state interest and narrowly tailored to achieve that interest."

I'm not sure why Rep. Mike Turner (D) requested this ruling. But I do know that if Rep. Mike Turner has abortion on his mind, it means trouble for women. Turner is the Democratic Rep. who sponsored the anti-choice amendment last year (no exceptions for rape, incest, health or life endangerment!). Apparently, there was a shortage of Republicans willing to do the job, so Rep. Mike Turner stepped forward. Tennessee Guerilla Women may forget some things. Betrayal by Democrats is not one of them.