Bredesen to avoid proposal to change constitution on abortion --

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A Republican-sponsored effort to cancel a state Supreme Court ruling on abortion rights in Tennessee may go against Gov. Phil Bredesen's personal beliefs, but he says there's little room for him to get involved in the debate.

The Senate is scheduled to take up the Republican-sponsored proposal to amend the state constitution this evening.

The Supreme Court found in 2000 that the Tennessee Constitution offers greater protection of abortion rights than the U.S. Constitution.

The governor is not required to sign proposed constitutional amendments -- and he has no power to veto them.

Bredesen, a Democrat, supports abortion rights.

If the measure were to pass both chambers this session and gain two-thirds approval by lawmakers during the next two-year General Assembly, the proposed change would go before voters in the 2010 election.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)