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Tenn. Dems Ramp Up Efforts Against Antiabortion-Rights Amendment

June 11, 2014 — The Tennessee Democratic Party has hired a veteran campaign strategist to coordinate its efforts to defeat Amendment 1, a ballot measure that would decrease abortion-rights protections in the state's constitution, the Tennessean's "In Session" reports (Sisk, "In Session," Tennessean, 6/9). State residents will vote on the ballot measure in November.

Background

In 2000, the Tennessee Supreme Court found that the state constitution guarantees women in the state a fundamental right to abortion. The judges in their opinion wrote, "A woman's right to terminate her pregnancy is a vital part of the right to privacy guaranteed by the Tennessee Constitution."

If it passes in November, Amendment 1 would amend the state constitution to include the statement, "Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion" (Women's Health Policy Report, 4/15).

Announcement

In a press release announcing the hiring of campaign manager Lisa Carter, Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Roy Herron said her "job is to tell Tennesseans about this tea party Republican attempt to deny women, even victims of rape or incest or life-threatening disease, the right to choose."

He added that Carter possesses a "depth of experience in this crucial fight for women and victims against Amendment 1" ("In Session," Tennessean, 6/9).