Lawmakers abandon ultrasound bill to focus on constitutional amendment

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 6:08pm
0218 Jim Tracy main.jpg
Sen. Jim Tracy (file)

Lawmakers have agreed to shelve a plan that would have required women undergoing abortions to view their ultrasound and hear the heartbeat days before the procedure.

Instead, the pair of legislators sponsoring the bill said they will refocus their energy on convincing voters to approve a constitutional amendment in two years to remove abortion protections from the state’s guiding document, according to a press release.

“This constitutional resolution is the cornerstone of future legislation to protect life in Tennessee,” said Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) a Congressional hopeful who is abandoning the “ultrasound bill” this session. “We will be focusing all of our efforts on promoting its passage on the 2014 ballot.”

The bill, also sponsored by Rep. Rick Womick (R-Rockvale), would have required women to see a real-time ultrasound of the unborn embryo or fetus in their womb and listen to the heartbeat. Women who refuse to view the image would have to listen to the doctor detail the development of the scene, including body parts. The bill also would have built in an up to three-day waiting period before undergoing the abortion.

Critics say the move is meant to further the pro-life agenda by guilting women out of deciding on an abortion. Proponents say the bill would ensure women have all the information they can get before making a decision. Similar provisions are on the books in eight states.

The Republican-led legislature wants to amend the Tennessee Constitution to allow lawmakers and the governor to decide whether abortions should be protected by law. The constitutional amendment, known as SJR127, will go before voters during the next governor’s race, which is set for November 2014.

8 Comments on this post:

By: Loner on 3/7/13 at 6:42

If the sponsors of the ultrasound bill want to help kids, they could do a lot more for those already born....those most opposed to women having a choice are also the most opposed to governmental programs to benefit mothers and children...the two positions, though morally incongruous, go hand in hand in the Tea-Bagged GOP....they have a logic all of their own....spare the fetus, abandon the child....its not just mean-spirited, it's irrational.

By: rawhide on 3/7/13 at 8:50

Ms. Zielinski, "remove abortion protections from the state's guiding document"? That presumes that the "protections" are actually in the "guiding document." That's an artful statement, but it is opining not reporting.

Loner, I guess you aren't aware (or you're ignoring) that from year to year polls show that the percentage of American women who oppose abortion is about the same as men? Also, you obviously don't know what the proposed amendment will do other than the Cliff's Notes version.

By: pswindle on 3/7/13 at 9:09

They go from one crazy idea to another. The Supreme Court has ruled, leave abortion alone. If you don't want one, don't have it. I believe that is what you call freedom in America.

By: C.A.Jones on 3/7/13 at 10:33

Hey Loner, Just go travel to whatever state you want to have that stupid baby plucked out of your snatch. Nobody is stopping you! I mean, I'd hate to think you weren't able to sleep around with whomever you wanted and get knocked up at every corner and have to actually carry that baby to term. Hells no!

Look at it this way, If this law passes you can still gather up a handful of clothes hangers and fall down some stairs. That should take care of that stupid night where you were the locomotive of a 15 car train.

By: Loner on 3/7/13 at 11:41

Hey, Casey are steaming and a-rolling....sounds like you've had your caboose violated...or did you freely offer it up? You are on the wrong track....go to a gay pride site near you....come out, already....there's nothing to be ashamed of.

By: shey69 on 3/7/13 at 12:02

Wow, the irrationality continues.

Public polls are inaccurate because Christian women often hide there real feelings. Nobody supports abortion, we support the right of women to decide whether or not to carry a child for 9 months and be mothers for the rest of their lives.

Overpopulation is our greatest enemy. Public services are overwhelmed. And old men who have sex with prostitutes forget that it takes sperm to make a baby. CONDOMS SAVE BABIES! Take some responsibility for yourselves and leave my body, mind and spirituality alone!

BTW C.A. Jones you are really ignorant if you think abortions are just solutions for sluts. Check the data:

By: think on 3/7/13 at 12:38

Abortion in my mind is a logical question. We all agree that you can't take a human life, so really the debate here should be when is an unborn baby first considered "alive"? We measure death by the absence of a heart beat and brain waves, so it is incongruous to me that life is not defined with the same metrics.

I think we can all agree that the process of leaving your mother's womb doesn't make you a human, but the current decision of "after the second trimester" is equally arbitrary. That is the item that people need to be figuring out for themselves and as a collective nation.

By: rawhide on 3/7/13 at 10:55

shey69, keep telling yourself that "Christian women often hide their true feelings"; if a woman is getting an abortion and can't bear to see an ultrasound, who's hiding their feelings?

And you are several decades late on your "overpopulation" stats.

But, come on, do you really "not support" abortion? How much do you not support it? And why do you not support it?

pswindle, I guess you are a stare decisis fan all the way down the line, huh? Not. You just >like< this particular decision of the Supreme Court. You know abortion is wrong.