Tennesseans to Vote on Abortion Amendment in 2014

Monday, 23 May 2011 01:32 PM

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Lawmakers in Tennessee gave their final approval to a bill that would allow residents to vote on whether the state Constitution guarantees a right to abortion. The measure approved Friday places the constitutional question on the ballot in November 2014, The Commercial Appeal in Memphis reported.

“Nothing in this constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion,” the amendment reads. “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.”

The move to place the amendment on the ballot stems from a Tennessee Supreme Court’s ruling in 2000 that found a right to abortion is implicit in the state constitution. That decision struck down three restrictions on abortion that the Legislature had enacted.

“The [state] Supreme Court’s decision, even though the word abortion is not in the constitution, found it in there after 200 years,” said Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville. “We’re putting the constitution back to where it was before the liberal Supreme Court found abortion in the constitution.”

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