I’m writing in response to the troubling article written recently about Tom Crangle’s, (candidate for Tennessee’s 27th District) support for Amendment 1. I have called Tennessee home for the last four years and I hope that supporters of this amendment are few and far between.
For those who are unfamiliar, Amendment 1 aims to change the Tennessee Constitution to grant lawmakers more authority in regulating abortion. I find this problematic for a myriad of reasons and I hope that at the end of this letter you will too.
First and foremost this is a women’s decision not a politicians'. Women and their doctors know what’s best for women. This amendment would make it possible for politicians to set even more restrictions on the right to an abortion, with no regard for when a woman’s health is in danger. That’s right – not even if she’s been a victim of rape or incest. That’s not good policy. We don’t always agree around these issues, but I think we can all agree that it is better for each woman to make her own private decision, in consultation with her family, her faith and the advice of her doctor.
Secondly, as I mentioned in the above paragraph there is no exception even for health, rape or incest. This makes the amendment flawed and dangerous. If approved, the legislature could pass even more restrictions that would ban abortions even in extreme circumstances such as when a woman’s health is in danger like a pregnant woman needing treatment for cancer. Why are we making situations that are already painful and traumatic that much more difficult? When tragedy strikes your family- it is your family and your family alone that needs to make their own difficult, private decisions without government interference.
In addition, Tennessee has some of the strongest privacy rights in the nation, rights that do not exist in other states. We want to keep that in place, but some politicians want to take away the rights that we have now. This Amendment is nothing but political interference in our private lives. Those folks that are behind this amendment have clearly said that they believe all abortion should be illegal, no matter what. This is not a common sense restriction. This is political interference.
I encourage you to learn more about Amendment 1 before blindly supporting it.
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I don't know about anyone else, but I am tired of the constant interference of the government in our private lives. Abortion is such a hot-button topic, and it's easy to allow personal convictions get in the way, but anti-abortionists do not seem to realize that adding more regulation from government is bad for everyone, including themselves.
Let's face it- abortion is here to stay. If you want to reduce the number of abortions, then let's increase education and teach our young women to be empowered when it comes to their bodies and their sexual health instead of being victims. Let's understand that yes, there are times when an abortion is a medically needed procedure, and let's allow those who need it to obtain it in a private way- between themselves and their doctors.
If you want to reduce abortion, then prevent unwanted pregnancies. Don't put even more power into the hands of government- put that power into the hands of our women and girls. Abortion is a medical issue- not a government issue.
For those who say, "I don't want state-funded abortion in Tennessee," well, you don't have it. There is no state funding of abortion in Tennessee. This amendment is misleading people. It doesn't "fix" any problems. What it does do is give the government more power over our private lives. Even if you don't agree with abortion, you can surely agree that we need less, not more, state governing of our personal decisions. If you don't agree with abortion, then do something about it by putting more power into our women's hands. Vote no to Amendment 1. It's not good for anyone.
Chris A. Kramer