The Bradley County Commission passed a resolution expressing their support of Amendment One, a measure that will be on the ballot for voters across Tennessee this fall.
If passed, the amendment would overturn a 2000 Tennessee Supreme Court ruling that states that abortion rights are protected by the state constitution. It would also give state legislators the power to make laws regarding abortion.
Vice Chairman Adam Lowe said, "This resolution does not institute any specific law.
..It is simply a resolution to return power to the voice of the people.
The amendment states, "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."
Tennessee House Representative Kevin Brooks also spoke. He said to the commission, "In the year 2000, the Tennessee Supreme Court took away all of our voices by appointment...The Tennessee constitution has more liberal bias toward abortion than the federal constitution."
He continued, "Turn back the clock...so that we can give these unborn a fighting chance. We are murdering thousands of them every year and it has to stop."
Commissioner Jeff Yarber pointed out, "When you murder a pregnant woman, they can charge you with two murders."
However, Commissioner Jeff Morelock said, "Whatever we say, we don't have any authority over it." He said that while he did not support abortion, the commission should take a stand for things it could actually change instead.
He pointed out, "This commission could not take a stand on the wheel tax, something that they did have some control over."
He said, "This resolution has all of the elements of political posturing."
The resolution passed 13-0. Commissioner Morelock passed on his vote.
The budget was also approved for the upcoming fiscal year. It passed 14-0.