Alright, I’m a lawyer and still fresh from law school (meaning I still love to attack like a pit bull and haven’t had the fight ground out of me by the trudge through the legal process yet), so you knew this was coming.
Enter the SOAPBOX!!!
Which, lets face it, I need since I’m so short.
For those in Tennessee, I’m saying this right up front, VOTE NO on Am. 1.
The language they want to put into the Tennessee Constitution as an amendment is,
“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.” – http://www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-middle-east-tennessee/proposed-abortion-ban-tennessee#sthash.LNME1D4t.dpuf
This is to quell the abortion rights the TN Supreme Court said women had in the 2000 case
PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE v. Don SUNDQUIST – http://caselaw.findlaw.com/tn-supreme-court/1171782.html#sthash.NtS2Y1AJ.dpuf
There, the Court struck down some of TN’s abortion laws as unconstitutional under the state constitution. So here, 14 years later, those self proclaimed “pro-lifers” (a hilarious term for it considering the last line of their proposed amendment) are trying to roll those rights back by specifically saying the TN Constitution doesn’t protect any rights having to do with abortions.
Now, this would not automatically send us back to the dark ages of the US before 1973, because we would still have the ruling of the Supreme Court of the US (affectionately known as SCOTUS) of Roe v. Wade, the seminal case that first said a woman had a right to her own body and to an abortion before viability. It’s something. SCOTUS later restricted this by saying states could pass laws restricting and regulating abortions as long as they did not place an “undue burden” on the women.
And states ran with it.
States have been pushing the definition of undue burden since. States like Texas pushed it so far with their restrictions that those have been appealed up to SCOTUS. Roe v. Wade has been under attack since it came out. And we thought things were getting better for women, more equal, right? Yeah, we were wrong.
If this amendment passes, TN legislatures will be free to pass all kinds of restrictions on women’s rights to our own bodies. And the only thing standing in their way will be Roe v. Wade, and that bitch is wayyyyyy the fuck out there. Do you know how long it usually takes to get something to the Supreme Court? Years. During that time, unless you can get the Court to place a stay on enforcement, your rights can be stripped away and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it but wait or go to a different state.
So, I reiterate, Vote No on Am. 1.