Thursday, March 09, 2006

Rabid TN Senate Says Yes to Abortion Ban

This morning the rabidly conservative State Senate voted Aye on SJR 127 - the resolution they hope will one day outlaw abortion in Tennessee. SJR 127 permits no exceptions for rape, incest or even to save the health or life of a woman. Today was the Senate's third reading of SJR 127, the resolution that would amend the State Constitution.

The vote: 24 Ayes and 9 Nayes.

No surprise here. The real battle will be in the House where we actually have a chance of defeating SJR 127, along with any bills, that may arise, mandating the stoning of women who have sex without state approval.

Senator David Fowler (R) is the misogynist responsible for SJR 127. Fowler has been trying to outlaw abortion in this state at least since 2001. You might say he is obsessed with the project of controlling women.

Sen. Joe Haynes (D-Nashville) made an effort to amend SJR 127, in his view exceptions should be made for victims of rape, incest, and health problems. His amendment went nowhere.

As always, Sen. Steve Cohen (D) spoke in defense of a woman's right to be in charge of her own body. Of course no one was persuaded.

Sen. Rosalind Kurita (the under-funded Democratic candidate for Bill Frist’s seat) said that SJR 127 amounts to a death penalty for women. She said the Senate has no right to pass a death sentence on women. Kurita added, "I cannot support this resolution. What this resolution says is that we don’t care about what happens to women."

Kurita is a nurse. She named a number of diseases that threaten the health of pregnant women and asked Evil David Fowler if he is knowledgeable about the diseases.

Sen. Fowler (615-741-1764) said he "knows what it is to be pregnant," but doesn’t know anything about the diseases that threaten pregnant women.

Rosalind Kurita said that the way to prevent abortions is to eradicate poverty and provide childcare. The women in the balcony broke the rule and responded with thunderous applause.

Evil Senator Finney addressed Sen. Kurita: "Where does it say this resolution prevents abortion?"

Kurita: "Sen. Finney, Just what do you think is the purpose of this resolution?"

The women in the balcony responded with unrestrained laughter.

The wingnuts droned on forever with their favorite nutty theory about fetuses being the equivalent of 19th century slaves. I say it's past time for some technology that will free the 'fetus slaves' by putting them into the bodies of rabid old white rightwing men. What a damper that would put on their drinking and womanizing days.

It's a good time to call your State Reps. Tell them to Vote NO on SJR 17.

If SJR 127 passes this year in both the Senate and House, it will return next year. If it passes by a two-thirds majority in either 2007 or 2008, the people of Tennessee will get to vote, in 2010, on the state's right to control women's bodies. After that maybe we can vote on old white men's right to interfere with gawd's plan by using Viagra.

You might want to call Rosalind Kurita and thank her, 615-741-2374, toll free, (800) 449-8366 Ext. 12374. And Steve Cohen, 615-741-4108.

For more on SJR 127, see ACLU-TN.

UPDATE: I couldn't make it to the press conference, dammit, but Aunt B. went, and she has a nice account of it over at Tiny Cat Pants.

UPDATE #2: Here are the 9 senators who voted against the woman-killing SJR 127, and for a woman's right to make her own personal decisions. If your senator is not on this list, s/he needs to lose his/her job!

See the General Assembly website for the full list of senators and their contact information. If you call the senators below and thank them for their support, they will have reason to be even braver in the future.

Bowers, Sen. Kathryn: Memphis 615-741-2509/901-332-8429
Cohen, Sen. Stephen: Memphis 615-741-4108/901-726-6622
Crutchfield, Sen. Ward: Chattanooga 615-741-6682/423-756-6700
Ford, Sen. Ophelia: Memphis 615-741-1767/none listed
Harper, Sen. Thelma: Nashville 615-741-2453/615-741-2453
Haynes, Sen. Joe: Nashville 615-741-6679/615-741-6679
Herron, Sen. Roy: Dresden 615-741-4576/731-364-5415
Kurita, Sen Rosalind: Clarksville 615-741-2374/931-368-0182
Kyle, Sen. Jim: Memphis 615-741-4167/none listed

Thanks to Cynthia Bennett, Pres. of Nashville NOW, for the list.