Thursday, March 09, 2006

Next come the stonings

Now Tennessee is trying to ban abortion. The GOP is trying to turn our nation into Saudi Arabia. Libertarians are mostly financially stable white men, who feel more threatened by the GOP's financial idiocy than by their abrogation of personal freedoms. And Democracts have all the wits and wherewithall of a cage full of startled turkeys.

Some days I hate politics....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You say “Tennessee is trying to ban abortion.” I wonder if you might more accurately say, “A small group of political activists in Tennessee is proposing to allow a vote of the people of the state to determine how much protection their constitution should provide for abortion.”

The group pushing a state constitutional amendment has only developed enough traction to suggest appended wording that says, “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires funding of an abortion.”

But nothing in the new wording would prevent an abortion, either.

Even so, the resolution was actually introduced more than a year ago and has languished since then, while a group of state senators sized up their best shot at passage, which they took a week ago. The resolution passed the Senate, which is what it needs at this moment to stay alive, but it must also pass the House.

The measure, which is Senate Joint Resolution 127, by the way, did not receive in the Senate the two-thirds approval it must have by next year in both houses of the legislature. And even then, the weakly worded addendum becomes a part of the state constitution only if it passes when put to a vote of the people of the state.

Tennessee’s state constitution presently provides more shelter for abortions than can be found in most other states. When Planned Parenthood challenged several state restrictions to abortions, they won in the state’s Supreme Court. As an immediate result, three state laws vanished. Informed consent, the 48-hour waiting period, and the requirement that a second trimester abortion take place in a hospital were all declared to be in violation of the state constitution. As a predictable secondary result, of course, the backlash began forming.

The current legislative resolution is an attempt to let the people of the state vote on whether to continue the state constitution’s extra protection of abortion. The process is not really comparable to the recent travesty in South Dakota.

Two competing points of view are colliding in Tennessee, and you say that some days you hate politics. Did you hate it on the day when the extra protections were put in the Tennessee constitution in the first place? Did you hate it on the day when Planned Parenthood sued and won? Each of those days was a political one. Or do you just hate it when you learn that the people themselves may be asked to vote?