Life goes on at the Supreme Court, vacancy or no. Last Monday, on the opening day of the term, the Court announced that it will not hear a challenge to a 2014 Tennessee ballot measure, Amendment 1, which stated “nothing in this [state] Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion.” Or, if you prefer, look at the news through the lens of The Tennessean the Justices declined to hear a challenge to “a ballot measure that eliminated the right to an abortion from the Tennessee state constitution.”

Thumbs up to the Supreme Court on this one.

The ballot measure approved by Tennessee voters four years ago was a corrective measure to a state court’s 2000 “discovery” in the state constitution of a right to abortion that was broader than the abortion rights covered under Roe v. Wade. Courts in several states have made similar rulings. The remedy to such rulings is an abortion-neutrality constitutional amendment like the one passed by Tennessee voters four years ago: nothing in our Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion. 

More from The Tennessean: the executive director of Tennessee Advocates for Planned Parenthood called Amendment 1 “another attack on women’s rights and the ability of individuals to make personal decisions for themselves.” That claim might or might not have come as a surprise to the women who made their own decisions to support Amendment 1.

According to the Family Action Council of Tennessee (FACT), a pro-life advocacy group, the passage of Amendment 1 led to swift adoption of some pro-life legislation.

During the 2015 legislative session, we made progress on a couple of measures related to Amendment 1 that were signed into law: first, a 48-hour waiting period with in-person counseling by a physician prior to an abortion, which was signed into law by Gov. Haslam on May 18, 2015, and, second, the new requirement that all clinics in Tennessee performing more than 50 surgical abortions per year be regulated as ambulatory surgery treatment centers. The new regulations took effect July 1, 2015.

So are abortions banned in Tennessee? Hardly. What Amendment 1 restored, and what the U.S. Supreme Court just tacitly endorsed, is the situation that prevailed in the Volunteer State before 2000: abortion is legal, and so are state regulations consistent with Roe.

Ellen Kolb is a New Hampshire writer who blogs about the life issues at leavenfortheloaf.com and ellenkolb.com. 

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Yesterday I was flipping through the radio dial and as I was driving home and heard Michael Bower on 96.8 FM speaking of his outrage concerning a proposed Tennessee law concerning the discussion of homosexuality before the 9th grade in school and making fun of southerners in general.

One might debate the wisdom or necessity of such a law but the fact that it is even being debated shows a lot of people are missing the point concerning the purpose of public education.

I would think we might do better as a nation if our schools spent their time talking about things like Math, Science, English, History, Economics and Computer technology and the Arts. I know compared to homosexuality and identity politics stuff like Algebra, Astronomy, Calculus, HTML and Physics, Geology, Music and the American Revolution are trivial matters to the education and future success of grade school and junior high school students but I suspect even they might have their place.

This nonsense can’t help but remind me of a story concerning my first Job with a defense contractor back in 85. The big boss had a meeting with his managers and during the meeting the subject of the games on the Mainframes, came up. He went around the table to get their opinions and they varied. Some said we needed the space (this was back in the days when 1 meg was a LOT of memory) others thought the games were a good way to acclimate people to the computer system. When it finally got back to the Boss him he looked around the table and said in a decisive voice dripping with incredulity:

This is a place of Business! We are not paying people to play games!

The games were removed from the system directly afterward.

Eyes on the prize folks, eyes on the prize.

Oh btw as you might guess the techs very quickly put the games on a tape and restored them to a disguised directory. Geeks haven’t changed in three decades.