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Tennessee: Did You Know?

Did you know that anti-choice lawmakers in Tennessee keep trying to restrict the right to have an abortion currently afforded by their state's constitution?

For the fourth time in eight years, the Tennessee Senate passed a proposed state constitutional amendment that would reduce protections for abortion rights.  The proposal passed the Senate in 2001, 2004, 2006, and 2008.  Each time the proposal died in the state House.

The anti-choice attempts to push this constitutional amendment began after the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the Tennessee Constitution offers greater protection for abortion rights than the U.S. Constitution.

The proposal would change the state constitution to read that there is no protection for the right to have an abortion.  The sponsor of the legislation refused to allow exceptions for rape, incest, or when the pregnant woman's life is in danger.

S.J.Res. 127, 105th Gen. Assem., Reg. Sess. (Tenn. 2008); Erik Schelzig, Bredesen to Avoid Proposal to Change Constitution on Abortion, Knoxville News Sentinel, Jan. 13, 2008; Bonna Johnson, Senate Approves Amendment to Limit Abortions,, Jan. 31, 2008.

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