Say no to Amendment 1

by Page Forrest

Junior Editor

I think that a potential life is a beautiful thing. I think potential life should be cherished and pre-served. But by no means do I think potential life is more valuable than a woman’s* right to her body and to make her own choices about it. This is why I firmly believe that Amendment 1 (Tennessee Legislative Powers Regarding Abortion) should not pass this November. The passage of this amendment would cause the following section to be added to Article 1 of the Tennessee Constitution: “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through The purpose of the amendment is to circumvent the 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.”

The amendment was introduced in response to a 2000 ruling from the Tennessee Supreme Court that struck down abortion regulations on the grounds that the regulations were not compatible with right to privacy laws in the Tennessee Constitution. The regulations struck down included Tennessee’s Informed Consent law, which requires a physician to provide a woman with alternatives to abortion, even if she does not request them, and a 48 hour law that requires a woman to wait 48 hours to have an abortion after receiving informed consent. court’s ruling, making abortion an exception to Tennessee’s right to privacy laws. While the amendment itself does not ban or impose any restrictions on abortion, it will make the creation of further restrictions much easier. Not only that, but the amendment does not guarantee protection for women who have been made pregnant through rape or whose life is threatened by pregnancy. I don’t like abortion, and I wish it didn’t need to exist. But unfortunately, it does, and there are situations where abortions are not only a necessity, but a right. Even in cases where abortion is not necessary to save the life of a mother, a woman should still have the right to choose whether or not she wants States, we have to remember that a large portion to carry the fetus to term.

She should not be made to wait, so she can “rethink” her decision. Abortion is not a question of being “pro-life” or not. I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t value human life, and think it should be protected. However, it is not the egg that needs to be protected – it’s the woman, and her right to bodily autonomy. As sexual assault be-comes a more visible is-sue, both here at Sewanee, and all across the United of sexual assault derives from the objectification of women. Some of that indirect objectification comes from the abortion debate – People claim that the fetus a woman is carrying is more valuable than that woman’s life. Or even worse, that a woman’s sole purpose is to give birth. In fact, I had a teacher tell me in high school that if a woman is pregnant and will die if she gives birth, she should make the choice to die rather than to abort the fetus. But then what does that say about the value of the woman’s life? That she’s worth less than the egg she’s carrying? I believe in life. I believe in protecting people’s rights. I believe in Tennessee’s right to privacy. I believe in voting “No” to Amendment 1, and you should as well.

(*When I say woman, I do not want to exclude transmen. I recognize that some transmen are capable of getting pregnant and may need access to abortions.)