Back in 2000 the Tennessee Supreme Court made a serious mistake. They turned to politics instead of an honest reading of the State Constitution. They claimed that the Tennessee Constitution contains a greater right to abortion than the alleged right found by the U.S. Supreme Court in the federal constitution. (1973 Roe v Wade)
The word "abortion" never appears, nor is it implied in the Tennessee Constitution. By making this radical ruling the Tennessee Supreme Court has frozen Tennessee lawmakers out of the debate on reasonable abortion regulations. States all around Tennessee have laws regarding informed consent, waiting periods and clinic regulations on doctor-owned abortion clinics. Tennessee lawmakers are prohibited from enacting such laws by the 2000 state court decision.
The net result is Tennessee has become an abortion destination. Women from neighboring states now come to Tennessee for an abortion. Tennessee now ranks third in the nation for out of state abortions.
Issue 1 is an amendment to the Tennessee state constitution. Issue 1 does not place any specific regulations regarding abortion into the state constitution. It simply restores the authority of the Legislature to debate and pass measures on this issue, in essence, correcting the overreach of the 2000 Court decision.