Tennessee voters on Tuesday approved a controversial ballot measure that ensures the state constitution does not protect a woman's right to abortion under any circumstances. Nearly 54 percent of voters approved the measure, with 46 percent opposed, according to Politico.
Amendment 1 overrides the Tennessee Supreme Court's 2000 decision to block a 36-hour mandatory waiting period before abortions. The court had ruled the state constitution protects women's right to privacy, which includes the right to have an abortion.
Amendment 1 will give state legislature the power to pass any kind of abortion restriction without fear of intervention by the courts. Supporters of the measure claimed that women were driving to Tennessee from surrounding states to have an abortion because Tennessee was unable to pass as many restrictions. The president of Tennessee Right to Life said the 2000 court decision left the state "out of character" with its socially conservative population.
Planned Parenthood lamented the vote on Tuesday.
“We trust women’s abilities to make their own decisions, we believe in privacy at times of crisis, and we love Tennessee,” said Ashley Coffield, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood, Greater Memphis Region. “We will not stand for restrictions that serve only to create barriers to service. That is simply not the answer.”