Abortion rights advocates in Tennessee are organizing a “mock funeral” Saturday to mourn the loss of “reproductive rights” after the pro-life measure, Amendment 1 passed in the state, where they will march past an alter outside a Memphis abortion clinic.
Tennessee voters approved Amendment 1 on Nov. 4. The pro-life measure 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.”
As the Commercial Appeal reports, the morning after the Nov. 4 election, pro-choicer organizers Sarah Ledbetter and Bethany Bak were upset about the passage and began texting opponents of the pro-life amendment.
“I regard reproductive rights as civil rights,” Ledbetter said. “From what I understood about the amendment, it was a move to curtail those rights. So there’s nothing right about that in my world view.”
The abortion advocate took to Facebook to organize what she calls the 2ND LINE FUNERAL FOR EVERYONE’S REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS.
The event post reads, “Meet at Noon at the Overton Park Shell.. then TAKE to the streets in your fanciest black garb, your tennis shoes, and your dancing umbrella. Join your fellow Memphians who choose to act out, to sing, and to dance our belief in the human and CIVIL right to CHOOSE your OWN adventure.”
Second line parades, famous to New Orleans, are marked with dancing and music in the street.
“It’s not a protest,” Ledbetter said. “It’s a funeral. We are mourning and grieving and celebrating what’s possible. Nothing is written in stone until we all give up.”
Organizers say that an alter will be placed in front of Choices abortion clinic in Memphis, where, according to Ledbetter, “you may place funeral wreaths, flowers, and photos of loved ones whose lives have been touched by reproductive health needs and choices. From there we high step it and dance our spirits up to the skies! ”
Ledbetter is the Co-Founder at Memphis Dance Makers Workshop, Movement Educator & Artist at Company d and Farm Hand, Dancer at Delta Sol Farm.
The group has uploaded a YouTube of the songs they plan to use at the “funeral”!
Mark Crutcher, president of Life Dynamics, Inc., a national pro-life organization located in Denton, Texas responded to the charade by pointing out that abortion advocates know how to make funerals, “It’s what they specialize in,” he said.