Vote Today! Amendment 1 in TN is a Hot Button Issue.

Today is election day. I voted. You should too. This is our means of having our voice heard.

I votedThere is an important issue on the line this year.  In TN an amendment is proposed that will allow state guided regulation on the abortion industry.  It in no way prevents or outlaws abortions, rather it makes it possible for lawmakers to set regulations for the abortion industry that are in place in many states.

While my visit to Great Clips for a haircut reveals that a hairdresser must have state certification and display their license, abortion clinics in this state do not need any such oversight.

The Tennessean published a Myth vs. Fact article on Amendment 1.

Here are some facts about the amendment, abortion in Tennessee and those on both sides of the campaign.

What the amendment says:

Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires 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.

What the amendment would do:

If passed, the amendment would have no immediate effect on abortion in Tennessee. However, lawmakers would have more ability in the future to pass restrictions that the state Supreme Court has previously ruled were unconstitutional. A “yes” vote would give lawmakers this ability. A “no” vote would leave the state constitution unchanged.

If enacted, Tennessee would become the fourth state in the nation that has an abortion amendment in its constitution. The other three states are Arkansas, Colorado and Rhode Island.

What measures could lawmakers enact if Amendment 1 succeeds?

Examples of measures that lawmakers and others have spoken publicly about include:

• A waiting period before a woman seeking an abortion can obtain one.

• A requirement that doctors give women specifically worded information about abortions and fetal development crafted by lawmakers.

• A ban on abortions past a certain stage of fetal development.

• A requirement that abortion clinics meet the stricter standards of ambulatory surgical centers where typically more complex medical procedures are performed.

• An end to exceptions to abortion restrictions for women who are victims of rape or incest, or in cases in which a woman’s health is at risk.

The campaigns have been very different for the opposing sides.

“Yes on 1” is a grass roots effort creating groups in each county to speak in church, civic groups, and other forums to get the word out about the need for this amendment to pass.  They are using social media and primarily word of mouth.

Check out the website. www.yeson1tn.org  Here is a video addressing the issue.

“No on 1” is using a TV campaign of commercials funded by Planned Parenthood and ACLU.  Check out these ads. They are manipulative, do not address the issue, and appears to be designed to confuse the voter!

Don’t by the hype, Vote Yes on 1 today and make you voice heard for common sense protections of women.

 

 

 

TIME Sounds the Alarm: The Pro-Life Cause is Winning

TIME Sounds the Alarm: The Pro-Life Cause is Winning

by Trevin Wax

On the cover of TIME this week is this headline:  “40 Years Ago, Abortion-Rights Advocates Won an Epic Victory with Roe v. Wade. They’ve Been Losing Ever Since.”

The story – “What Choice?” – is written by Kate Pickert. The main point of the article is that Roe v. Wade hurt the pro-choice cause by delivering the movement’s main goal and by energizing a generation of pro-life activism.

Not surprisingly, the story is biased against the pro-life cause. Though the issue of “personhood” and “life” is alluded to (see below), Pickert never explores the reasons for a surge in pro-life activity. Had she sought to explain the pro-life perspective, she would have shown how this debate is really a showdown between reproductive rights and human rights, and which rights are foundational to freedom.

Still, I commend Pickert for using the terminology of “pro-life” and “pro-choice” throughout the article. (She doesn’t use these terms consistently, but it’s nice to see the terms both sides prefer utilized in a journalistic piece.)

Summary of the Article

The story gives us an inside-glimpse of an abortion clinic and its director, Tammi Kromenaker. Pickert shows how it is increasingly difficult to obtain an abortion in certain areas of the country, due primarily to statewide legislation regulating abortion:

In 2011, 92 abortion-regulating provisions–a record number–passed in 24 states after Republicans gained new and larger majorities in 2010 in many legislatures across the country. These laws make it harder every year to exercise a right heralded as a crowning achievement of the 20th century women’s movement.

Surveying the landscape of pro-life legislation, Pickert paints a stark picture for pro-choice advocates:

While the right to have an abortion is federal law, exactly who can access the service and under what circumstances is the purview of states. And at the state level, abortion-rights activists are unequivocally losing.

Why is this the case? Pickert pulls no punches. Pro-choice advocates are losing the debate:

Part of the reason is that the public is siding more and more with their opponents. Even though three-quarters of Americans believe abortion should be legal under some or all circumstances, just 41% identified themselves as pro-choice in a Gallup survey conducted in May 2012…

If abortion-rights activists don’t come together to adapt to shifting public opinion on the issue of reproductive rights, abortion access in America will almost certainly continue to erode.

Even after the reelection of President Obama and the defeat of a pro-life candidate like Richard Mourdock (who got into hot water with their controversial comments on rape and pregnancy), Pickert points out that the winning Democrat is also pro-life.

Throughout the article, Pickert laments the shrinking of abortion rights and explains the reduction by pointing to the relegation of abortion to specialized clinics, new government regulations on the practice, and generational differences in the pro-choice camp. Though Pickert describes an abortive procedure in clinical, unemotional terms, she deserves credit for taking us behind the closed doors of a clinic to see what happens:

On this Wednesday it’s Dr. Kathryn Eggleston, who informs the woman that she’s reviewed her chart and asks, “Are you confident in your decision to have an abortion today?” If the woman says yes, the abortion begins; the whirring of the vacuum aspirator used to extract the fetus can be heard in the hallway. Within 15 minutes, Eggleston emerges from the room and enters another where the removed contents are examined and photographed for the medical record.

To be more specific, the fetus (baby) is extracted (by dismemberment), and the removed contents (body parts, actually) are examined (usually pieced back together) and photographed for the record. But hey, this is TIME, after all. We can’t expect them to show us a picture of what’s really happening, can we?

Nevertheless, it should be noted that Pickert is helpful in explaining the scientific advances that have helped the pro-life cause:

The antiabortion cause has been aided by scientific advances that have complicated American attitudes about abortion. Prenatal ultrasound, which has allowed the general public to see fetuses inside the womb and understand that they have a human shape beginning around eight weeks into pregnancy, became widespread in the 1980s, and some babies born as early as 24 weeks can now survive.

The scientific advances are demonstrating what pro-life advocates have been saying all along. There’s a human being in there, and an abortion stops the heart and takes a life.Unfortunately, the humanity of the unborn is never really discussed, although Pickert quotes Frances Kissling (longtime abortion activist), who clearly affirms that abortion terminates human life:

Kissling opposes the specific state laws pushed by pro-life activists but says the pro-choice movement’s effort to “normalize abortion” is counterproductive. “When people hear us say abortion is just another medical procedure, they react with shock,” she says. “Abortion is not like having your tooth pulled or having your appendix out. It involves the termination of an early form of human life. That deserves some gravitas.”

After a quote like that, you wonder if this article might actually delve into the central issue surrounding this debate: What is the unborn? At what point does an unborn child get human rights? But no, we return to the abortion clinic and the beleaguered, shrinking number of OB/GYN doctors willing to perform abortions. The article ends this way:

In theory, a lower rate of abortion might be something for both sides of the abortion debate to share credit for and even celebrate. But it also illustrates the ultimate challenge for pro-choice advocates. Their most pressing goal, 40 years after Roe, is to widen access to a procedure most Americans believe should be restricted–and no one wants to ever need.

Despite the many setbacks the pro-life cause has faced and will continue to confront, TIME recognizes which movement is gaining strength and which movement is fading. And that’s worth celebrating!