Pro-Abortion Democrats Kill SJR 127

“We are disappointed to lose but even more disheartened that Jimmy Naifeh doesn’t trust the people of Tennessee with their own Constitution. We will be back next session to begin again—and we trust that some of those who voted against us will not.” — Brian Harris, president Tennessee Right to Life
Pro-Life Rep. Diane Black (R-Gallatin) was joined on Monday by 43 Republicans and 9 democrats in a heroic effort to pull SJR 127 from an obscure health sub-committee. Sadly, however, their courage was not enough to overcome the influence and power exerted by both pro-abortion house leadership and the governor’s office which strongly opposed placing the amendment on the ballot during the 2006 governor’s race.
The motion to ‘call SJR 127 from committee’ required 66 votes. Following stirring pro-life floor speeches by Rep. Black and Rep. Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville), the question was called and the vote taken. When the count was made, the tally was 53-36, 13 votes short to move SJR 127 to the floor for debate. Only 1 republican, retiring Rep. Joe Kent of Memphis joined with pro-abortion democrats to kill the pro-life resolution. Tragically, 2010 is now the earliest that another amendment resolution can be placed on the ballot for public approval. Until then, no meaningful pro-life protections can be enacted or enforced as constitutional under Planned Parenthood of Middle Tennessee v. Sundquist.

Those voting pro-life in support of moving SJR 127 to the full floor for debate: Baird, Bittle, Black, Harry Brooks, Bunch, Buttry, Casada, Clem, Cobb (D-Shelbyville), Cochran, Crider, Curtiss (D-Sparta), Davis, Dubois, Dunn, Eldridge, Fraley (D-Winchester), Godsey, Gresham, Hagood, Hargett, Harrison, Harwell, Hawk, Hensley, Phillip Johnson, Russell Johnson, Lynn, Matheny, McCord, McDaniel, McDonald (D-Portland), McKee, Montgomery, Mumpower, Newton, Overbey, Patton, Pleasant, Roach, Rowland, Sargent, Sharp, Shepard (D-Dickson), Stanley, Todd, Mike Turner (D-Nashville), Vaughn (D-Kingsport), Vincent, Walker, Windle (D-Livingston), Wood, Yokley (D-Greenville). (53)
Those voting pro-abortion against moving SJR 127 to the full floor for debate: Armstrong, Bone, Borchert, Bowers, Briley, Henri Brooks, Coleman, Cooper, Davidson, Lois DeBerry, Ferguson, Fowlkes, Garrett, Hackworth, Harmon, Head, Hood, Sherry Jones, Ulysses Jones, Kent (R-Memphis), Langster, Litz, Maddox, Marrero, McMillan, Miller, Odom, Pruitt, Rinks, Shaw, Sontany, Tidwell, Brenda Turner, West, Winningham, Speaker Naifeh (36)
Present not voting: Tommie Brown, Hargrove, Tindell (3)
Not voting: Buck, John DeBerry, Fitzhugh, Kernell, Pinion, Towns, Larry Turner (7)
Note from Brian Harris and Tennessee Right to Life:
A grateful organization thanks the hundreds of pro-life Tennesseans who poured themselves into the months long effort to pass SJR 127. In most political battles, there are winners and losers. But in this struggle, the cause of life wins, despite the setback on this resolution.
With your public witness to the sanctity of human life, you have demonstrated that Tennessee’s pro-life movement simply will not accept the wrong decision which claims a “constitutional right to abortion” in the state constitution. Every time the proponents of abortion are forced to defend the indefensible, the side of life and truth are guaranteed to prevail.
Through your commitment and efforts on SJR 127, you continue to demonstrate that the constitution belongs to the people and that we aren’t content to let radical pro-abortion judges “rule us out” on determining the state’s public policy on abortion.
Yes, we lost the vote this round but we’ve laid a foundation upon which to build an even stronger, ever more effective statewide pro-life organization which can accomplish all that needs to be done to restore protection to human life in our state.
Who could have imagined that we would be able to fill every committee room, blitz entire legislative districts, even coordinate a statewide television and radio media campaign in support of SJR 127?
The best is yet to come! Today was not our day—but our day is coming. Because it is a matter of the heart, we will not rest as long as the injustice of Planned Parenthood v. Sundquist stands as the law of the land in Tennessee.
Finally, grow not weary in doing good because a harvest of good and righteousness is waiting— waiting for people like you and me to gather it in and bring it home in victory.
Thank you for what you’ve done—and for all that we’re about to do together to ensure that next January, a working pro-life majority replaces those who stood against life and SJR 127 today.
Toward that Goal,
Brian Harris, President
Tennessee Right to Life

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