At the Poles this November (part 3)
For several weeks, I have been trying to inform us concerning Amendment 1 on the election ballot in November. This week, I am providing answers to some frequently asked questions from the resources of yeson1tn.org:
How many abortions are reported in Tennessee?
According to the TN Department of Health, for the most recent year available (2011), there were 12,368 abortions performed on women residing in Tennessee. Additionally, 3,747 abortions were performed on women residing from outside of Tennessee bringing the total to 16,115.
Will Amendment 1 ban abortion in Tennessee?
No, abortion would not be banned and remains legal across the U.S. due to the Roe vs Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1973. This Amendment, if passed, would restore the Tennessee Constitution to where it was prior to the 2000 TN State Supreme Court decision by making the constitution neutral on the question of abortion. While not banning abortion, passage of this Amendment will allow passage and enforcement of common-sense policies and regulations.
How does the Amendment process work?
In order to successfully amend the state constitution, a resolution must be introduced and then receive a simple majority of votes in both houses during any given 2-year session of the Legislature. The same resolution must then be reintroduced and passed by a 2/3 “super-majority” of legislators seated during the successive legislative session. Finally, after passing two sessions of the Legislature the language is placed on the ballot for voter approval during the next gubernatorial race.
The SJR 127 was passed by both the TN House and Senate in 2009 and received second passage by the required 2/3 super-majority in 2011. As a result, the language has been placed on the November 2014 ballot for voter approval or rejection as Amendment 1. The language must be approved by 50% of those casting a vote in the Governor’s race plus 1.