I love living in the State of Tennessee, and I enjoy so much about our great state. I thank God that the Volunteer Sate has been home for the majority of my life. From the mighty Mississippi River to the Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee is a wonderful place to visit, but recent years have seen a spike in visitors coming to the state for a reason that is neither fun nor recreational. Increasingly, women are coming to Tennessee from across the southeastern U.S. seeking abortions.
Why has Tennessee become an abortion destination?
Simply put, Tennessee has an almost unrestricted abortion industry. In the early 1990s, the Tennessee Supreme Court made a radical ruling in determining that the state constitution’s guarantee of privacy rights supersedes the state legislature’s authority to regulate abortion. As such, the legislature’s hands have been tied in enacting laws regarding everything from informed consent to inspection or regulation of abortion facilities to mandating hospital stays for more risky procedures.
The lack of regulation and liberal access to abortions without waiting or informed consent has resulted in Tennessee becoming the go-to destination for abortion proponent organizations advising and aiding women to abort from outside Tennessee. In fact, Tennessee is being used by abortion advocates to skillfully trump the abortion limits of other most other southeastern states. For example, Alabama abortion rights advocates have begun to raise funds through crowdsourcing to pay for women to come to Nashville for abortions. Kentucky abortion advocates have been arranging transportation for women to the less restrictive Tennessee clinics some of whom even advertise discounts for out-of-state clients. Like water flowing along the path of least resistance, the tide of easily obtained abortions is rising in Tennessee.
The bottom line is that abortion rights advocates are using the liberal abortion regulations in Tennessee to send upwards of 4,200 women a year (1/4 of all abortions committed in Tennessee) to Tennessee for abortions that have been deemed to be illegal, unadvised, or unsafe by nearly every other state in the South.
Tennessee Voters Can Effect Change
On November 4, 2014, Tennessee residents will have the opportunity to go to the polls to vote to amend the state constitution to give legislators the ability to regulate abortions. Amendment 1 proposes to change the Tennessee Constitution to read:
"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.”
God calls himself the “Defender of the Defenseless” and the “Voice of the Voiceless,” and as Christians, we are called to join Him in this work to show the world His character. Voting to place the regulation of abortion into the hands of elected officials is a step in defending the defenseless that is practical not political.
To pass Amendment 1, Tennessee voters have to have majority of votes cast on the amendment with a total number of votes cast that is at least equal to the number of votes cast in the gubernatorial election. We cannot afford to sit this one out. Voter turnout is key to giving the legislature the necessary authority to regulate abortions in Tennessee.
How can you take action?
- Make plans to vote on Amendment 1 on November 4.
- Use your influence to encourage others to vote through word-of-mouth, social media, and other avenues.
- Use tools available to www.yeson1tn.org to help educate people you know and encourage them to vote including people in your church.
The gospel requires that we acknowledge and act upon God’s heart for the defense of defenseless, yet-to-be born children. Supporting Amendment 1 is a step toward valuing life and acknowledging God is its ultimate arbiter and defender.
For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made, Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well. My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.
Psalm 139:13-16 (HCSB)