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SJR0127 and Other Updates from TNCPPC and FACTN

May 12, 2009

Just received email notification from TNCPPC:

SJR127: Constitutional Amendment Regarding Abortion

Has Made it to the House Floor!

Constitutional Amendments must be read on the

House Floor twice before it is actually voted on.

Last night was the first reading,
Thursday [May 14] will be the second reading and

Next Monday Night, May 18th,
will be the third and final reading and a

Vote will be taken!

 

CALL OR EMAIL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE!

Ask them to vote YES for SJR127!

Contact Your Representative:

How to find your Representative:

On the State Legislature’s website [ http://www.capitol.tn.gov/ ] at the bottom right, you will see “Find my Legislator.” Next enter your street address, city, and zip code. Do not enter a P.O. box, it must be your physical address and/or voting address. After clicking “Search” you will be taken to a page with your Represenative and Senator. You can either copy their email address and paste it into a new email or click thier address to write and email. You will also see their phone number.

Only your Representative needs to be contacted because it has already passed the Senate!

Legislative Summary:

SJR 0127:Constitutional amendment – abortion. Adds new provision to Article I of the state constitution to provide that nothing in the constitution secures or protects right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. States that 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.

Why this is important:

This is a step towards giving the power to make the laws governing abortion back to the elected officials and away from the appointed members of the State Supreme Court. Tennesseans have the right to have a voice in the decisions made about abortion in our state through the legislators that they put in office.

What Happens After It Passes:

For the Tennessee Constitution to be amended, a resolution must be passed by two consecutive sessions of the general assembly. The first passages must be by a majority in each house. The second passage must be by a two-thirds vote in each house. The question must then appear on the ballot at the next general election where a governor is selected.

What This Means:

The Senate has passed SJR127. If the House passes it on monday, then next year both the House and Senate must pass it again by two-thirds vote. Then it will appear on the 2014 election ballot, because that is when the office of the Governor will be up for election.

How you can find out what happens:

1. We update the CPPC website (www.tncppc.org) weekly with the current status of legislation the CPPC is monitoring, supporting, or opposing.

2. Visit the State Legislature’s website (www.capitol.tn.gov) and enter the legislative bill number in the field for “Find Legislation.”

3. If you know when the legislation is being heard, you can watch it live or archived from the State Legislature’s website (www.capitol.tn.gov) under “Video” or visit the video website: http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/livevideo/.

TNCPPC’s site has information about several other bills of interest. I don’t have time to point out specific ones now, but here is the page to check: http://www.tncppc.org/legislation.htm.

FACTN sent this in an email:

For the first time since the battle began to restore neutrality to Tennessee’s constitution on the issue of abortion, the full state House of Representatives will get to have an up or down vote on SJR 127, the proposed constitutional amendment that would effectively reverse the state Supreme Court’s finding that abortion is a “fundamental right” under our state constitution.

SJR 127 has passed the Senate, but each time since 2001 it has been killed in a House Subcommittee. But this year it has reached the House Floor for a vote.

If you are ready to take action NOW, scroll to the bottom of this page, click on the link, scroll to the bottom of the next page and click on “Take Action.”

It is critical that it pass so that the proposed amendment can take the next step toward getting no the ballot for a vote by all of us.

We expect that there will be attempts by those opposed to the bill (Planned Parenthood and the ACLU) to amend SJR 127 in some fashion that will undermine the purpose of the amendment, namely to take abortion policy out of the hands of five un-elected members of the state Supreme Court and put it back in the hands of our legislators who are directly accountable to us.

Please email, or if you have time, call your representative and ask him or her to vote for SJR 127 and to vote against any amendments to SJR 127. By clicking the link below you will be taken to a page that will allow you to send an email message. If you want to call, you can find your legislator and his or her phone number at this link.

It is critical that your voice be heard.

And if you would like to be there to see the House vote and to let your representative know you are watching, plan to come to the state Capitol next Monday, May 18th. Session will start at 5 p.m. Central time. You may want to drop by your legislator’s office to let him or her know you are there and leave a personal message asking for his or her vote for SJR 127.

If we find out that the vote is to be postponed to another day, we will post that information prominently on our website by noon of the 18th.

Sincerely,

David Fowler, President
Family Action of Tennessee, Inc.

I don’t have time right now to check their Web site to locate the links mentioned in the letter. Maybe another day I can tweak this post, but in the meantime you can check http://www.factn.org/.

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