published Monday, March 11th, 2013

New group will fight Tennessee abortion amendment in 2014

NASHVILLE — Organizers of a new statewide coalition working for sexual health and “productive freedom” said Monday that part of their effort is aimed at defeating a proposed constitutional amendment on abortion that will be on the 2014 ballot.

Members warned that the measure would gut protections from a 2000 Tennessee Supreme Court ruling and thus allow the General Assembly to pass legislation requiring pregnant women seeking an abortion to undergo 48-hour waiting periods and limiting the procedure to the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

“What we don’t need is ... any more politicians inserting themselves into the doctor’s office,” Rep. Gloria Johnson, D-Knoxville, said at a news conference announcing creation of Healthy and Free Tennessee.

Earlier this month, Sen. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville, withdrew a measure of a measure that would have required abortion providers to perform an ultrasound and show it or describe it to the woman seeking an abortion.

Members of the new coalition could not answer questions whether the 2000 ruling prevents the General Assembly from passing such legislation or similar measures such as transvaginal ultrasounds.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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