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Women's Rights in Tennessee - Head Scarves and Veils? PDF Print E-mail

Letter to the Editor, Knoxville News Sentinel
From Franklin L Greene, Tellico Village, TN
Published 19 July 2014

In 2000, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that the state constitution supported the right of a woman to make her own health decisions, including reproductive rights. During the current legislative session, the boys in Nashville, introduced a proposed amendment to the state constitution. The amendment reads:

“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.”

I have to admit that, once again, the Tennessee Legislature has surprised me. Just when I thought they could not sink any lower, they came up with this Amendment 1 nightmare.

The proposed amendment would, in a single step, delete all constitutional protections for women faced with the possibility of requiring an artificial termination of pregnancy. If actually enacted, the floodgates would immediately reopen for all types of “protections.” Anyone up for the introduction of vaginal ultrasounds? Mandatory waiting periods? Will psychological counseling be required? Will care providers being required to have local hospital admitting privileges? Imagine the chortles of glee in upcoming legislative sessions as an endless stream of “thou shalt not” laws and regulations pour forth.

But, worst of all, this vile attack on the Tennessee constitution is a deliberate denial of legal protection to a single group of citizens with a specific medical condition. The bill’s sponsors obviously assume that these females are incapable of analyzing alternatives and reaching a rational medical decision without the gross and heavy handed intrusion of government. Perhaps a simpler solution would be to simply pass a law declaring women to be incapable of any personal decision without the guidance of big brother.

Is it too late to get a corner on the market for head scarves and veils?

Letter: Abortion safe and regulated PDF Print E-mail

Letter to the Editor, Knoxville News Sentinel
From Mary Schulz, Lenoir City, TN
Published July 14, 2014

A recent letter writer wanted women to know the facts about Amendment 1 but was totally misleading about them. She wrote that passage of the amendment would “protect” women from unsafe, dirty abortion facilities and clinics. The fact is that abortion in Tennessee is already the most regulated and one of the safest outpatient procedures. The fact she omitted is that passage of the amendment would give Tennessee legislators the option of severely restricting abortion, even in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s health is in jeopardy. New restrictions would actually promote the unsafe, dirty back-room abortions of the past. Abortion is a complex, deeply personal issue for women. In a perfect world there would be no need for it. All women who wanted birth control would have easy access to it. All babies would be born to two loving parents who could support and nurture them. There would be no sexual assault. Until that day, what women need is protection from state legislators who want to invade their personal privacy at a most difficult time in their life. All who cherish privacy will vote no on Amendment 1.

Wine & Cheese Fundraiser on July 22 PDF Print E-mail

Friends of Loudon County Democratic Party... you are invited to a Wine & Cheese Fundraiser on Tuesday, July 22, 7-9 PM at the Hampton Inn on Rte 321, Lenoir City.

Dr. Susan Dodd is the guest speaker and there is a $30 suggested donation at the door. Proceeds from the fundraiser will support Vote No on 1.  Women’s reproductive rights are on the ballot this November in the form of a proposed Amendment to the Tennessee Constitution.  We need to raise money to defeat the Amendment and keep politicians out of these personal decisions.

If you can join us, please RSVP to Peggy Dupont ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or Judy Roitman ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

LCDP Meeting Minutes - June 19, 2014 PDF Print E-mail

Meeting Place - City Hall, Lenoir City, TN

Meeting Called to Order - Stuart Starr, Chair

Pledge of Allegiance - Stuart Starr, Chair

Prayer - Moment of reflection

Treasurer’s Report - Submitted by Paul Buie, Treasurer - There was no activity this month. The balance in the LCDP account is $5,390.01.  The balance in the Democratic PAC is $2,104.31.

Happy Dollars Basket - Paul Buie: “if you’re happy then share it - verbally and $$ if you can”. $30.00 was collected.

Old Business:

LCDP HQ Relocation- It will probably cost $1200-$1600 plus utilities to rent HQ space for four months (September, October) before the elections.  Stuart would like to table the proposal to rent space until we can contact Democratic candidates and find out what support they need for their campaigns this year.

New Business:

Amendment 1- Dixie Damm- Activities, including a wine and cheese party, are planned in July for the group in Loudon County dedicated to getting the word out to “Vote No on Amendment 1”.  Peggy DuPont and Judy Roitman are leading the group. Please contact them if you want to join and be active.

Pride Fest- Dixie Damm- Pride Fest, Knoxville’s gay pride parade, will be held June 21st, 10 a.m., on Gay Street.

Women of Faith- Dixie Damm- All are invited to attend a Women of Faith event on July 12th.  Several women are attending with Dixie.  The speaker is Sarah Weddington who argued the Roe vs Wade case before the Supreme Court.  The event is at the Foundry, Knoxville.  Tickets are $40.00 each.

Civil Rights March- Eileen Nober- A march to commemorate the 1964 Civil Rights Act will be held in Knoxville, July 2nd, 6 pm, beginning at the Knoxville Safety Building, 800 Howard Baker, Jr. Ave.


John McKamey, Democratic candidate for Governor in Tennessee, spoke about his qualifications and agenda if elected in 2014.

Adjourn - Stuart Starr/ Eileen Nober

Respectfully submitted by Charlene Bledsoe

Facebook Policies of Politicians Differ PDF Print E-mail

Letter to the Editor, Knoxville News Sentinel
From Laurence J. Best, Lenoir City, TN
Published June 29, 2014

This is in response to a letter titled “Comments removed from Facebook page.” The writer wrote about how her representative in Congress, U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, deleted comments she made to his Facebook page.

I also routinely comment on the Facebook pages of those representing me in Congress: U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker and U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. My comments are often supportive, and I’ve made multiple positive comments to posts from all three of these public officials. I’ve never been personal or disrespectful in any post.

The senators clearly have a policy of letting the chips fall where they may with posts to their Facebook pages. I’ve never seen any poster’s comment disappear, no matter how negative or even insulting. (Interestingly, the most negative posts come from Republicans and are so numerous that they make their pages look like “Vote for Joe Carr” sites.)

It’s a very different story for Duncan’s page. When I first started visiting it, I was struck by how fawning the comments were in comparison to those on Alexander’s and Corker’s pages. I later found out why. It is because someone, presumably on Duncan’s staff, is deleting posts that are not flattering and then blocking those posters from ever making additional comments.

I admire and respect that Alexander and Corker have the strength of character to tolerate diverse opinion on their actions. As for Duncan, perhaps he needs to reread the First Amendment, the one about public officials not censoring citizens.

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