Amendment Supporter Says It Won’t Outlaw TN Abortions, Yet

Both pro life and pro choice advocates are expected to spend a combined $1 million on Tennessee's constitutional amendment. Credit: Steve Rhodes via Flickr

Both pro life and pro choice advocates are expected to spend a combined $1 million on Tennessee’s constitutional amendment. Credit: Steve Rhodes via Flickr

Conservatives who support an anti-abortion amendment to Tennessee’s constitution have launched a yearlong campaign ahead of next year’s vote. They want to get a message out that the measure does not outlaw abortions.

It’s true. The amendment only says no one has a right to an abortion and no one is required to fund an abortion in Tennessee.

Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey led a fundraiser Monday night to finance a campaign that will promote the ballot measure. He says he expects opponents will have their own campaign, suggesting the amendment as making abortions illegal, which he says is a mischaracterization.

“Because I do think that ACLU or Planned Parenthood will say anything or do anything,” Ramsey told reporters Monday.

However, the amendment’s intent is to further restrict abortions in Tennessee.

Tennessee courts have ruled that the state constitution gives women the right to an abortion. So they’ve struck down waiting periods and requirements that abortions be performed in a hospital. If the amendment passes a popular vote next year, anti-abortion legislators hope to reinstate those laws.

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