Friday, October 17, 2014


Smoky Mountain Reflections #152

Greetings in Christ. As you all know I like to keep my Reflections articles clear and Christ-centered while addressing current issues in our community. This November we will all be asked to do our civic duty and make informed decisions on leaders and issues that affect our day-to-day lives. I would like to help you make an informed decision on Amendment 1 to our state’s constitution because Christians and the church should speak loudly on the issue of protecting innocent life.

Whom we elect and how we vote on other issues are also important, but this amendment should be particularly important to every Christian who loves life. Therefore, we should all vote “Yes on 1”. The facts about abortion in Tennessee are quite clear. Before 2000, the Tennessee Legislature passed a series of sensible laws regulating abortion, including a waiting period and informed consent laws, creating an environment where innocent human life was protected as much as legally possible. That changed dramatically in the year 2000 when the Tennessee state Supreme Court “found” a right to abortion in the state constitution. This decision struck down abortion regulations, in effect, prohibiting any restriction on abortion in Tennessee.

Justice Mickey Barker, who disagreed with the court’s decision, said, “Plainly stated, the effect of the Court’s holding today is to remove from the people all power, except by constitutional amendment, to enact reasonable regulations of abortion.” In response to the court’s overreaching action, state legislators adopted
Senate Joint Resolution 127 (on the ballot as Amendment 1). This resolution will allow Tennesseans to vote this November to amend the state constitution making it “neutral” on abortion and allowing the people of Tennessee to  once again enact common sense abortion regulations regarding licensing, hospital admitting privileges for clinic doctors, waiting periods, and simple health inspections of abortion clinics.

            Those of us who support this common sense amendment have been called the Tennessee Taliban by deep pockets who have a financial interest in the abortion industry here. Out-of-state customers make up 25% of the abortions in Tennessee because there are no regulations protecting young women who have abortions here. Supporters of Amendment 1 desire not to oppress women but to protect them and help them make informed decisions instead of being coerced into making decisions that line the pockets of clinic owners.

            The text of Amendment 1 is fairly simple, and short enough to include here. “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.”

            As a resident of Tennessee, it pains me to know that we are an abortion destination. Please help to protect women, both born and unborn, and vote “Yes on 1” in November.

In Christ,
Pastor Robert Portier
Saint Paul Lutheran Chruch

Sevierville TN

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