A fight over the future of abortion in Tennessee is shaping up to be the costliest voter referendum battle in the state’s history, reports the Tennessean.
Abortion rights advocates have raised more than $360,000 in the past six months toward the defeat of Amendment 1, a ballot measure that would remove abortion protections from the state’s constitution.
Abortion foes, who began fundraising last fall, have raised more than $518,000, according to disclosure forms filed with the state last week.
Both campaigns have set aggressive fundraising goals, with “Yes on 1” campaign seeking $2.1 million, while the “Vote No on One” has set a goal of roughly $4 million.
The referendum, if passed, would add this language: “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires funding of an abortion.” A no vote would leave Tennessee’s constitution unchanged.
The “Yes” campaign raised the lion’s share of its funds — about $250,000 — from an event headlined by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey last fall, but has since collected dozens of contributions from Protestant and Catholic churches, state right-to-life groups and individual donors.
The “No” campaign has received the majority of its funds from Planned Parenthood affiliates in and out of Tennessee, including a $175,000 contribution from Planned Parenthood of Middle Tennessee, a $50,000 contribution from Planned Parenthood of the Greater Northwest in Seattle and $35,000 from the American Civil Liberties Union in New York — as well as a dozen individual contributions ranging from $200 to $1,000.