A description of the so-called abortion amendment facing voters Nov. 4 sparked some angry, emotional reactions from a few members of the crowd attending a Tuesday night forum in Oak Ridge, reports the News Sentinel.
One attendee murmured “baby killers” after one remark from speaker Corinne Rovetti, co-director for the Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health. Rovetti was selected to discuss Amendment 1, which would give lawmakers power to enact laws governing abortion.
Another member of the audience held up a hastily made sign that read, “Stop Killing Babies.” Still another in an outburst called the matter a “moral issue, and God says thou shalt not kill.”
Constitutional Amendment 2, which calls for the governor to appoint appellate court members with lawmakers’ confirmation, was described by University of Tennessee law professor Judy Cornett, while Amendment 3, banning any future personal earned income tax, was the purview of Maryville College professor Sherry Davis Kasper.
Rovetti and Cornett in their remarks on their respective topics took the occasion to lambaste the Republican supermajority in the Legislature. “There is a lot of fear of this Legislature,” Cornett said. “I don’t have a lot of confidence in our supermajority legislators,” Rovetti said.
The League of Women Voters of Oak Ridge, in partnership with the Oak Ridge Branch of the American Association of University Women and the Women’s Interfaith Dialogue of Oak Ridge, presented the forum, which drew an estimated 135 attendees.
Two attendees said the organizers’ choice of Rovetti to discuss the topic was inappropriate. “It was obvious the way her bias came through,” said Pat Imperato.
“It was a political, one-sided forum,” Vilma DeClue said. “We didn’t have the opportunity to express our beliefs.”
Note: The League of Women Voters in Tennessee has declared opposition to passage of Amendments 1 and 3. (It supports 2 and has no position on 4. More at the group’s website, HERE.)