The passage of Amendment 1, which changed Tennessee’s Constitution to give the Legislature more power to regulate abortion, left many people wondering what will happen next.
News 2 spoke with Speaker of the House Beth Harwell to discuss the issue.
Because early voting numbers were low, she was surprised at the turnout Tuesday night and how many people voted “yes” for the amendment.
“I think it really showed that people were keeping up with it and were informed and wanted to participate in our government, and I’m always grateful for that,” Harwell said.
Now that the amendment has passed, Harwell said we should expect to see changes that make sense.
Some of those changes could include:
- A mandatory waiting period before a woman seeking an abortion can get one
- Inspection requirements for all facilities where abortions are performed
- Mandatory counseling or “informed consent” provided to a woman before an abortion
Like more than 50% of voters, Harwell checked “yes,” but a number of women voiced their strong opposition to the amendment.
They are worried a woman’s right to choose will be taken away.
“I think those that were against it legitimately feared that we would attempt to put too restrictive guidelines in place. I don’t think that’s the will of the legislature. I think we again want to put some common sense regulations in place that mirror what states around us already do,” explained Harwell.
She thinks the amendment will also keep people from out of state from coming to Tennessee to get an abortion.
Vote No on Amendment One supporters said they will be a visible force at the legislature in January.