Tuesday, May 12, 2009

General Assembly Restricts Abortion...Huh?

The Tennessean loves to print deceptive headlines such as "Abortion limits expected to pass," about a constitutional amendment which in and of itself contains precisely no limits on abortion:

The measure has already passed the Senate, where it has had minor trouble in previous sessions. But it had often stalled in the House, particularly in subcommittee.

The resolution was read on the House floor Monday evening, and will be read two more times before it's voted on by the full House.

"Ultimately, I think you're going to see that it will pass very easily," said Senate sponsor Diane Black, R-Gallatin.

Part of the reason for the expected passage is that the mostly Republican-backed proposal is receiving support from across the aisle.

"I think everybody knows where we are about this bill," said House sponsor Debra Maggart, R-Hendersonville. "I think everyone knows it's going to pass."

It must be admitted that if the amendment passes, its language would definitely allow for the restrictions which it claims are passing to be enacted at some future point after the amendment is added to the Tennessee Constitution, which it would be if it passes a referendum that would be held on Tuesday, November 4th, 2014, over five years from today. The same Tennessee Constitution that proponents of SJR 127 seek to amend requires that amendments to that Constitution must be approved on two separate occasions by two separate General Assemblies, and must pass the second time by a super-majority.

While it seems clear that 127 stands an excellent chance to pass the General Assembly twice, and then be placed before the voters for their approval, if the voters approve it (which in Tennessee is still a likely prospect), the earliest that the Legislature could even submit proposals to restrict abortion in this State is sometime after Tuesday, January 13th, 2015, when the 109th General Assembly of the State of Tennessee convenes under Lieutenant Governor Wedontknow and Speaker of the House Whotheheck.

Yet, proponents of abortion are being told by The Tennessean that they should panic now, because abortion restrictions which unfortunately do not exist have just been passed by both Houses of the Tennessee General Assembly.

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