Thursday, January 31, 2008

TN Senate Again Targets Abortion

Though the state's Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that our own Constitution takes priority over the federal one regarding a woman's choice when it comes to issues related to pregnancy, the state's Senate has (again, making it the 4th time) approved a plan to amend the Constitution to remove legal rights status on such issues:

"Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion."

The vote breaks down as follows:

Senators voting aye were: Beavers, Black, Bunch, Burchett, Burks, Crowe, Finney L, Finney R, Henry, Jackson, Johnson, Ketron, Kilby, McNally, Norris, Southerland, Stanley, Tracy, Watson, Wilder, Williams, Woodson, Mr. Speaker Ramsey -- (23).

Senators voting no were: Berke, Harper, Haynes, Herron, Kurita, Kyle, Marrero, Roller, Tate -- (9.)

It's strange to me to see the GOP in the state focus on this issue, when Tennessee has much to improve on in the arena of providing for mothers, fathers and children. Some just provided info on the "Best Cities to Have A Baby" ranks Nashville 33rd, and offers some other facts to boot:

•Compared to other states, Tennessee has among the least generous family-leave and disability laws in our survey.

•According to data from the CDC, maternal mortality in Tennessee is especially high.

•12 percent of pregnant women here receive late or inadequate prenatal care. That's the 4th worst score in our survey, compared to an average of 5 percent.

•32 percent of babies in Tennessee are born via Cesarean section, among the highest in our survey. The average is 27 percent.

•State laws do not require health insurance companies to provide or offer any fertility-related services.

•Nashville-Davidson has only 3 licensed home day cares for every 1,000 children under 4 years, the 3rd lowest in our survey. The average city in our survey has 13.

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