Abortion amendment campaigns heading for home stretch

Abortion amendment campaigns heading for home stretch (Image 1)

You may have noticed television ads on both sides hoping to tell the story of why people should vote yes or no on Tennessee’s Amendment No. 1.

“Amendment 1 will restore the voice of Tennesseans to protect women and the unborn,” says a line from an ad sponsored by the group Yes on 1 Tennessee.

That message is countered by an ad from Vote No on 1 Tennessee that says among its lines: “No politician has the right to legislate these personal and private decisions.”

There are also an ever increasing number of volunteers making calls to voters.

“One of my favorite thing to do is stopping in the grocery store and talking to people with babies in their cart about Amendment 1,” said Vote No on 1 Tennessee volunteer LaQuinta Martin.

Yes on 1 Tennessee set up a booth at a neighborhood festival in Bellevue Sunday afternoon.

“I don’t think our community even knows what Amendment 1 is,” said Lianna Hamm as she made stickers and yard signs available.

Amendment 1 gives Tennesseans an opportunity to add language about abortion to the state constitution.

Specifically, it says “nothing in this constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senator 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.”

Both sides passionately disagree about what the language means, and what it will do.

“I want to give you the opportunity to wait 24 hours before you embark on an incredibly important decision about your life,” said Hamm as she also worried about abortion clinics not being inspected. “The amendment does not ban abortion.”

Amendment 1 grew out of the Tennessee State Supreme court striking down what some called common sense laws, while others say the measures were too restrictive.

“There are valid reasons, this is not a birth control, there are reasons that people need to make these choices,” said Martin. “It’s frustrating to me that a politician would make these decisions over a physician.”

Voters should expect more ads, more yard signs and even some phone calls in the next three weeks as Tennesseans will hear a lot about Amendment 1 leading up to the November 4 election.

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