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.”


New Map Illustrates Teen Pregnancy Rates In Tennessee

The Comptroller’s Offices of Research and Education Accountability  has added a new map to its website illustrating teen pregnancy rates in Tennessee. The map is color-coded to reflect which counties have a pregnancy rate exceeding 19.5 per 1,000 females, ages 15-17. The map is based on the most current (2013) data published by the Tennessee Department of Health. ... (click for more)

Former Chattanooga Teacher And Administrator Featured In National Magazine

Charles McKenzie, a Chattanooga local and the first in his family to go to college, returned to Chattanooga to teach, eventually becoming a supervisor.  His inspiring story is featured in the 2015 edition of Life Care LEADER magazine, a publication of Life Care Centers of America.  Mr. McKenzie taught at schools across Chattanooga during his 30-year career, including ... (click for more)

Local Religious Group Condemns Hammond Comments, Asks Apology

A local religious group, Mercy Junction and Peace Center, has condemned comments by Sheriff Jim Hammond on Muslims and asked for an apology. The group said, " People of all faiths, or of no faith, are invited to join Mercy Junction in front of the Islamic Society of Chattanooga for prayers on Friday afternoon. "Prayers In Solidarity" will take place outside the Islamic ... (click for more)

Sheriff's Office Releases Names Of 4 Deputies Involved In Shooting After Pursuit

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office has released the names of the four law enforcement personnel involved in the shooting incident of Brent Pickard on Aug. 26. They are Sgt. Gregg Carson, Sgt. Spencer Daniels, Deputy Adam Ty Williams and Deputy Eric Baxter. As per the sheriff's office policy, all four personnel were placed on mandatory administrative leave and have returned ... (click for more)

Who's Responsible For East Ridge's Stadium? - And Response (2)

There just can be no excuse for East Ridge High School's stadium being in such dangerous condition that it has been condemned.   Where is responsible for this? I know there are a few other stadiums like this as well. And there is no excuse for this.  Building new and beautiful schools, state of the art technology. Top athletic facilities as well. Yet, East Ridge ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Five Straight Days Of Football

If I covered my first high school football game as a fledging sports when I was 16 years old, and I am now 66, I figure that’s darn near about a half-century of passes and punts. The mystifying part is that I still get as big of a kick hovering around the game as I did on my very first time so as we usher in the start of the college season with five straight days of games, here ... (click for more)