Tracy And Womick Won't Move Forward With Ultrasound Bill Untill SJR 127 Is Approved

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Senator Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) and Rep. Rick Womick (R-Rockvale) announced Wednesday they will not seek passage of a bill this year to require abortion providers show or describe an ultrasound image to a woman before the procedure can be performed.  The lawmakers said they will focus on passage of Senator Joint Resolution (SJR) 127, a pivotal constitutional amendment initiative which will come before voters in 2014 that would allow the legislature to put abortion laws into place within the bounds of “Roe v. Wade.”

"This constitutional resolution is the cornerstone of future legislation to protect life in Tennessee,” said Senator Tracy.  “We will be focusing all of our efforts on promoting its passage on the 2014 ballot.”

Tracy was a co-prime sponsor of SJR 127, which was passed by the General Assembly in the 106th and 107th General Assemblies.  It addresses a State Supreme Court decision in 2000 that struck down provisions in Tennessee law allowing women to receive “informed consent” information about the surgery and to wait 48 hours before they receive an abortion.  The state’s high court also ruled against a state requirement that all abortions after the first trimester be performed in a hospital. That ruling made Tennessee more liberal than the U.S. Supreme Court required in “Roe v. Wade” and made the right to an abortion a “fundamental right” in Tennessee.  SJR 127, if adopted, provides that the right to an abortion is only protected under the U.S. Constitution as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Brian Harris, president of Tennessee Right to Life said, “Pro-life Tennesseans are especially grateful for Senator Tracy’s resolve to ensure that the focus is not distracted from what remains the single most important pro-life objective: public approval of SJR 127 by voters in 2014.”

“We are very blessed in Tennessee to have legislators who are firmly and unequivocally committed to life,” said Bobbie Patray, president of Tennessee’s chapter of Eagle Forum.  “Tennessee Eagle Forum commends Senator Jim Tracy and Rep. Rick Womick for recognizing the foundational impact of SJR 127.  They clearly understand the educational challenge before us, and we are grateful that they will be focusing their time and energy on the passage of this proposed amendment the State Constitution.   Tennessee is an overwhelmingly pro-life state, and they are setting an example that we hope the voters will follow as we approach the vote in November of 2014!”

"As the original sponsor of SJR 127, I've always had the strong support of Senator Tracy and Rep. Womick, who I didn't get to serve with, is cut from the same cloth, added David Fowler, President of FACT (Family Action Council of Tennessee).  “I applaud their desire that all pro-life efforts for the next year be focused on the most important pro-life issue in Tennessee history, the passage of SJR 127. I appreciate their leadership in making sure that nothing distracts from that overarching objective upon which all pro-life legislation in the future depends."

“Given the fact that most abortion clinics in Tennessee already administer an ultrasound before performing an abortion, it only makes sense that we as legislators should be allowed to ensure that the pregnant mother is given the opportunity to see the video and hear the heartbeat,” added Rep. Womick.  “Actively seeking adoption of SJR 127 to our State Constitution will afford lawmakers that opportunity.”


Northside Neighborhood House Receives Gift From Food Lion

Northside Neighborhood House has received $1,000 from the Food Lion Feeds Charitable Foundation to help feed and provide education to local residents. Northside Neighborhood House will use the gift for its Healthy Families Program, which offers cooking classes and family dinner nights.  “The NNH is so grateful for this support from Food Lion Feeds Charitable Foundation,” ... (click for more)

2nd Annual IgniteRed Event: Thank You, Chattanooga

Southern Surgical Arts sponsored the 2nd annual IgniteRed event last Friday in conjunction with the American Heart Association’s National Wear Red Day. During this informal evening of entertainment and networking, more than 200 of Chattanooga’s women gathered in support of a common goal: to raise awareness about heart disease. "It’s a topic of vital importance to everyone, ... (click for more)

WWTA, Grimes, Clem Lambasted At Boyd Public Forum

Over 50 people turned out Tuesday night on a meeting called by County Commissioner Tim Boyd over issues with the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA), and many took turns lambasting the agency, director Cleveland Grimes and attorney Chris Clem. Commissioner Boyd said at the end of the hour and a half session at the East Ridge Community Center, "If less ... (click for more)

City Facing Millions In Catchup Costs For Fire And Police Pension Fund

City Council members were told Tuesday they are facing millions of dollars in catchup costs for the fire and police pension fund. Pension fund officials said the city will need to invest some $1.6 million per year more with the fund to keep up with the latest state requirement. Frank Hamilton said the fund has been at a level of about 60 percent of obligations, but that needs ... (click for more)

Rick Smith Should Not Be Paid To Leave

Taxpayers of Hamilton County should take note that a majority of the members of the school board are getting ready to give Rick Smith the buyout that he wants.  Do you agree that someone should be paid for taking the coward's way out?  Rick Smith should be fired for cause. Not paid to leave.   If you don't want the board members to pay him off, call or ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Grab The Reaching Hand

Three of Tennessee’s largest four cities are now searching for school superintendents. Jesse Register retired last June and, after botching the first attempt, Nashville city leaders are intensely helping the Board of Education in a search for the best candidate. In Knoxville and Chattanooga the superintendents have resigned, both under a cloud, and now the leaders of the ‘2.0’ initiative ... (click for more)