“On Nov. 1, 1835, Davy Crocket left his Tennessee home and headed to Texas, where four months later he died at the Alamo. This Nov. 4, the eyes of pro-lifers and pro-aborts throughout the United States will be on Tennessee, as Volunteer State residents decide whether to allow the state’s legislature to debate passage of laws protecting unborn children.” Marvin Olasky
“On November 4, 2014 Tennessee voters by a solid margin backed Amendment 1, a measure that gives state lawmakers more power to restrict and regulate abortions.” The Tennessean, November 5, 2014
On Nov. 1, 1835, Davy Crockett left his Tennessee home and headed to Texas, where four months later he died at the Alamo. This Nov. 4, the eyes of pro-lifers and pro-aborts throughout the United States will be on Tennessee, as Volunteer State residents decide whether to allow the state’s legislature to debate passage of laws protecting unborn children.
Fourteen years ago, the Tennessee Supreme Court tried to cut off such debate by declaring that the state’s constitution demands a “right to abortion.” With neighboring states such as Alabama and Mississippi increasing their protection of some unborn children during those years, Tennessee has become an abortion destination: One out of four abortions in Tennessee now kills an out-of-state baby.
The Tennessee ballot this November features “Amendment 1,” which would reopen the debate. The amendment declares that “nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion,” and asserts that the legislature is free to pass laws concerning abortion.
At least 20 county governments have approved resolutions backing Amendment 1, but the pro-abortion side is out-fundraising pro-lifers. The campaign to defeat Amendment 1 took in more than $1.5 million in July, August, and September, while proponents raised $631,576. On Oct. 10 the pro-abortion side had $1.6 million on hand and planned an aggressive get-out-the-vote and television ad campaign.
The list of anti-Amendment-1 contributions is heavy with Planned Parenthood affiliates. The April/May/June published statement, for example, included $189,500 from Planned Parenthood of Middle and Eastern Tennessee, $50,000 from Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest (Seattle), and other large contributions from Planned Parenthood groups in southern California, Massachusetts, Kansas/Missouri, and Southern states.
Referendum opponents portray themselves as defending an Alamo of abortion liberty against hordes of fanatics—but along with their television buys they benefit from free publicity in magazines such as Mother Jones, which headlined a recent article, “The Nation’s Biggest Abortion Battle Is Playing Out in Tennessee.” In reality, they look more like Santa Anna.
Another reality check: Passage of Amendment 1 would bring about nothing radical, since the U.S. Supreme Court allows only minor changes in the abortion regime. Some lives would be saved, though, through likely legislation such as a 24-hour waiting period to reduce abortion coercion, informed consent requirements so that women have accurate information regarding fetal development, and inspection of abortion facilities that would reduce the number of southern fried Gosnells.