Protesters speak out against Amendment 1

Protesters speak out against Amendment 1

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - As Tennessee lawmakers headed back for the first day of work, some Mid-Southerners showed up to let state lawmakers know what they want to happen this legislative session.

In November 2014, Tennesseans voted "yes" to pass the controversial Amendment 1, which allows for increased government regulation of abortion and abortion clinics.

Tennesseans against the amendment protested in Nashville on Tuesday.

It was called the Women's March on Nashville. Organizers say the goal is to put pressure on the new legislative body set to deal with issues regarding Amendment 1 and its impact.

"What it's doing is setting abortion aside and treating it differently than any other kind of medical procedure in Tennessee," said CHOICES director Rebecca Terrell.

Terrell says protesters want legislators to advance health policies that meet the needs of women and their families, rather than drafting legislation that interferes with a woman's choice.

"That is way beyond the pale," Terrell added. "That is inserting politics into the relationship between a doctor and their patient."

However, supporters of Amendment 1 see the issue differently.

"I think the best way is to recognize that abortion, being a surgical procedure, should be just as regulated as a visit to the dentist's office or a visit to any other ambulatory surgical facility," said Suzanne Aviles of the Catholic Dioses of Memphis.

"It basically opened the floodgates," countered Terrell. "It basically said okay politicians, now you have the ability to pass any kind of restrictions on abortion that you believe that you want to pass."

Tennesseans on both sides of the abortion issue say they will be keeping a close eye on what legislatures do with Amendment 1.

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