The November 2014 Election and Amendment 1: Reproductive Justice at Stake
What was Amendment 1?
In November 2014, we lost our battle to defeat Amendment 1 and our state constitution was amended to remove privacy rights and include the following language:
“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.”
The goal of Amendment 1 was to make abortion illegal or unavailable in Tennessee, paving the way for politicians to place even more restrictions on reproductive freedom, with no regard for extreme circumstances when a woman’s health is in danger, such as a pregnant woman who needs treatment for cancer.
Amendment 1 opened the door for politicians to interfere with a woman’s private reproductive healthcare decisions. With its passage, Tennessee politicians began filing bills to restrict abortion before the 2015 legislative session even officially convened.
What did ACLU-TN do to fight Amendment 1?
Despite Amendment 1’s passage, we are proud of our “Vote No on 1” campaign and what we accomplished. Working with coalition partners, we achieved our goal of engaging thousands of voters statewide about the importance of access to safe, legal abortions without government interference. We had many important conversations, clearing up misinformation and explaining that the amendment was not just about abortion, but privacy rights, religious freedom, and government intrusion into a woman’s personal medical decisions.
ACLU-TN also built the Tennessee Reproductive Justice Network (TRJN)—a group of clergy who support Tennesseans’ access to comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion services for all women and families.
Now that Amendment 1 passed, what is ACLU-TN doing to protect reproductive justice?
ACLU-TN has maintained a constant presence at the legislature and will continue to aggressively lobby against politicians’ interference in private medical decisions.
Be assured that ACLU-TN will not let up in our defense of reproductive rights in Tennessee. Join us in our fight to protect women’s health by signing the “I Stand for Reproductive Freedom in Tennessee” petition, and stay up-to-date about ACLU-TN’s work at the legislature by signing up for our e-alert list.
More on Reproductive Freedom
Tennessee Reproductive Justice Network
The Tennessee Reproductive Justice Network is a group of clergy and community leaders who support access to comprehensive reproductive health care. Learn more.