-By Warner Todd Huston
This could shape up as a major battle between supporters of infanticide and pro-lifers in 2014. Pro-abortion forces will likely flood the Volunteer State with out-of-state money to defeat a referendum that may appear on the 2014 ballot allowing citizens to decide whether or not their state constitution really does have a special right protecting abortion.
This referendum is aimed at over turning a 2000 state court decision that read all sorts of “rights” into the Tennessee Constitution that had for 200 years never appeared there. The decision erased several state laws restricting abortion under the assumption that the state constitution had even stronger protections for abortion that does the U.S. Constitution.
The referendum will read as follows:
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.”
This effort may count as the first state attempting a sort of local limit on the so-called rights imbued into the U.S. Constitution by the 1973 Supreme Court Decision Roe v Wade. But if this passes and the state legislature begins leveling new restrictions, those new restrictions could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court as a violation of Roe v Wade.
We need to keep an eye on this one, folks. If the forces of abortion-at-will win this one it will put a quash on any other state that may want to attempt further restrictions on abortion in their own jurisdiction.