Tennessee Faces First of Many Anti-Choice Attacks Since Election DayPosted: November 17, 2014
On Election Day, Tennessee passed Amendment 1, a dangerous amendment to the state that will allow big-government interference into the personal reproductive healthcare of women and families. This amendment opened the door for thousands of other anti-choice laws that will prioritize the opinions of elected officials over the needs of families and the expertise of medical doctors.
Already, anti-choice officials have introduced an anti-choice law requiring women seeking safe and legal abortion care to undergo a medically unnecessary ultrasound before accessing the procedure. This not only requires women to undergo an ultrasound 24-72 hours before their abortion but also requires clinicians to force the women to look at the results, undermining the physicians own opinion about how to provide care for their patients. These laws are an obvious and unfair emotional attack on women making a difficult personal decision and is a common way for anti-choice activists to dissuade women from undergoing the procedure.
In just the past year, similar laws were found to be unconstitutional in both North Carolina and Oklahoma. These laws have been seen even by judges as ideological maneuvering meant to steadily erase the methods through which women can safely obtain the care they need.
“The Supreme Court has never held that a state has the power to compel a health care provider to speak, in his or her own voice, the state’s ideological message in favor of carrying a pregnancy to term and this court declines to do so today,” U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles said in her ruling on ultrasounds in North Carolina.
Hopefully, through the rights women are guaranteed under Roe vs. Wade, Tennessee’s law will also be challenged and struck down. While Amendment 1 opened the doors to restrictive action on women’s right to choose, the Courts will have the last word on lawmakers’ efforts to push through blatantly unconstitutional bills.