NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Efforts to restrict abortions in Tennessee usually die in the General Assembly.
But anti-abortion forces scored two successes in the session just ended, passing legislation creating "Choose Life" specialty license plates like those offered in six other states, and inserting into an administration bill language that limits the use of taxpayer money for abortions.
The measures now await action by Gov. Phil Bredesen, who supports abortion rights.
Bredesen says that at first glance he has no problem with wording that prohibits state funding for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or danger to the life of the woman.
But he promised a "very hard look" at legislation creating the car tags that would direct some proceeds to Tennessee New Life Resources. The Nashville nonprofit organization created in 1995 to assist women with unwanted pregnancies shares both a director and a building with the anti-abortion political group Tennessee Right to Life.
Constitutional concerns are being raised about the legislation, and some Tennesseans don't want either side of the abortion debate to get what looks like an official state sanction.