This fall Tennessee will be the next battleground in the war on women and their ability to access safe, legal abortion. In November, we will be asked to vote on Amendment 1, an unprecedented attack on our state Constitution and our privacy rights.
Amendment 1 is an attempt to remove the “fundamental right to privacy” from Tennessee’s Constitution and to give anti-abortion politicians in the General Assembly unlimited authority to pass burdensome and unnecessary restrictions and regulations on abortion, including banning all abortions. This would even apply even in cases of pregnancy resulting from rape, incest, or when necessary to protect a woman’s health.
This is the full language of the proposed amendment:
"Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or require 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."
Vote NO on 1 is a state-wide campaign to educate voters about the harmful impact of Amendment 1. The mission of the Vote NO on 1 campaign is to defeat this flawed and dangerous amendment to our state Constitution and to protect a woman’s right to safe, legal abortion
The amendment language is purposefully confusing and is meant to mislead voters about the real goal of the amendment, which is to make abortion more difficult, if not impossible, for women to access and more difficult and costly for physicians to provide.
The politicians and organizations behind this amendment have clearly said they believe abortion should be illegal no matter what. On their website, they admit their true intentions by saying:
“The wording of this Amendment was carefully drafted by the nation’s top pro-life constitutional attorneys and organizations so that it would be compatible with what we are trying to accomplish.”
Amendment 1 makes no exception for a woman’s health or if she has been the victim of rape or incest!
Tennessee has already been named one of 27 states “hostile” to abortion rights by the Guttmacher Institute given the regulations we currently have - without any proposed changes to our state constitution. If Amendment 1 passes, anti-abortion politicians are poised to pass the same draconian laws and regulations that have forced facilities providing abortion to close in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Virginia.
Despite the claims of supporters that the amendment is necessary in order to pass “commonsense restrictions” on abortion to protect the health and safety of women, abortion is already the most highly-regulated medical procedure in Tennessee. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), abortion has a more than 99% safety record.
We know that it’s best that each woman makes her own private decision, in consultation with her family, her faith, and the advice of her doctor. Protecting a woman’s fundamental right to control her own reproductive health and ensuring that she has all of the options possible when it come to making decisions about her reproductive health care is critical and no place for interference from politicians.