Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Draconian Abortion Bill (SJR127) Moving Right Along in Tennessee

The abortion amendment (SJR127) , which was successfully blocked by Tennessee House Democrats throughout the Bush era, is swiftly moving toward passage this year. Now that the House and Senate are controlled by Republicans, it looks like passage of the amendment is a done deal and abortion rights will be on the ballot in 2014.

And don't hold your breath waiting for Tennessee Democrats to raise a ruckus over the fact that the amendment allows for no exception for the many women in this state who are victims of rape and incest. Democrats did that last year and the year before that and . . . Nowadays Dems in this state seem to have all of the fight knocked out of them.

Nor does the GOP crafted amendment grant an exception or pretend to care about the women whose health and lives are threatened by pregnancy.

Oh, and Larry, Curly and Moe, the guys in charge of the Tennessee legislature, are also hard at work on the Barefoot and Pregnant Bill (HB1756 / SB0470) , which would deny funds to Planned Parenthood.

Sponsors of a proposal to change the Tennessee Constitution to allow the state to impose stricter limits on abortion say they expect it to pass the House with little opposition. . . The resolution was read on the House floor Monday evening, and will be read two more times before it's voted on by the full House. Sponsors say they expect some debate before the final vote, but not much. . .

"I think everybody knows where we are about this bill," said House sponsor Debra Maggart, R-Hendersonville. "I think everyone knows it's going to pass."

. . . Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, said her group opposes the resolution and will continue to fight against it if it passes.
"Our state constitution should not be amended to take away a woman's rights to privacy and reproductive freedom," she said. "ACLU-TN will continue to lobby against SJR127 and is preparing to mount an aggressive public awareness campaign to defeat the initiative if it is placed on the 2014 ballot."