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State Rep. Clemmons’ Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Opinion Eliminating Women’s Constitutional Right to Abortion

June 24, 2022

Nashville, TN – Today, the Supreme Court of the United States published its opinion in the landmark Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case. In response to the opinion, State Representative John Ray Clemmons (D-Nashville) released the following statement:

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States failed Tennessee families by overruling fifty years of judicial precedent. In so doing, the Court not only strips away a woman’s constitutional right, it also effectively robs them of their human dignity.

As of today, women are no longer equal under the laws of these United States. Within a month, our state’s trigger law will take effect, further criminalizing health care providers and providing no exception for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. 

While our country and state have been historically (and shamefully remain) challenged when it comes to the issue of equality, the Court’s shocking and unnecessary departure from sound reason and stare decisis represents a seismic shift in the legal landscape. Given this Court’s ideology and apparent lack of respect for its own doctrines and precedent, the ripple effects of this decision could extend well beyond reproductive health care.

We should not and cannot sit idly by and allow the Supreme Court to be final arbiter on this vital health care issue that directly affects Tennessee families. The Court has officially designated our state legislature as the battlefield, so that is where we must immediately redirect our attention and continue our fight for equality.

I humbly ask you to join me in redoubling our efforts in Tennessee to elect state legislators who sincerely believe, like I do, that women’s rights are human rights and that the privacy of a woman’s health care decisions should be respected and left to her, her doctor, her family and her faith. Through my legislative work to protect women’s reproductive health care rights as a member of the House Health Committee over the past eight years, I have had the pleasure of working in partnership with and hearing from countless individuals, medical professionals and advocacy groups from across our entire state. Together, we are the majority. Together, we can restore our loved one’s rights and dignity. Each of us must do our part to protect the integrity of Tennessee families for generations to come.  

Elections matter. Vote.




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