Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Tennessee Legislature Moves to Restrict Both Abortion and Safe Sex

Wow - you leave the internet and the news for a few days, and the whole place goes crazy. When I last posted, legislation had been introduced in the state of Tennessee to require women to notify men prior to having an abortion.

Since that time, the Nashville Scene published an article covering legislation intended to ban sex toys such as dildos (the safest sex?). SB3794/HB3798 creates a class A misdemeanor for a person who "commits the offense of distributing unlawful sexual devices when the person knowingly sells,advertises, publishes or exhibits to another person any three-dimensional device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs, or offers to do so, or possesses such devices with the intent to do so." This offense carries a punishment of up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $5000. Rep. Eric Swafford and Sen. Charlotte Burks are the respective legislators sponsoring the bills.

Finally, a joint resolution (SJR0127) was introduced to amend the Tennessee constitution with the following language: Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The resolution has been introduced in order to withdraw protections for abortion rights in the event that Roe v Wade is overturned.

Other blogs say (b/c I was late to this):
Whitescreek Journal says of the dildo legislation, "Tennessee is 49th in education and these bleeps are worried about you showing me your three dimensional device?"
Similarly, Joe Powell (who hails from my hometown) says, "Given that the legislature is 'handling' the issues of ethics, conflicts of interest, FBI probes into bribery, investigations into the actions of the widespread failures of state agencies to provide residents with copies of open records (via Newscoma), the stalled improvements to TennCare, the consistently confusing formula for providing state schools with adequate funding -- Sen. Burks and Rep. Swafford have pointed their attentions at devices for self stimulation" and concludes that this is both a waste of time and energy and "just plain silly."

Aunt B doesn't care about the abortion resolution, but I'm not sure she's reading it correctly. She says the ACLU language on the matter was, "were Roe overturned, and our State Constitution amended, the State Legislature could pass a bill outlawing abortion and women seeking abortion would no longer be protected by the privacy right in the State Constitution and we would not be able to pursue a successful challenge to the ban in state court," and concludes that these two things are unlikely to happen, so it's no big deal. I think SJR127 is the constitutional amendment the ACLU refers to. B still makes some good points on more effective ways to reduce the number of abortions performed.

Want to contact your TN elected officials? Find your state senator here, and your state representative here (Use the county or district links at the bottom).

Technorati Tags: Nope, still broken
MeSH Tags: Abortion, Induced/legislation and jurisprudence; Masturbation


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