FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Tennessee Right to Life?
Tennessee Right to Life is a
non-sectarian, non-partisan organization of pro-life groups in the State of Tennessee. Tennessee Right to Life is committed to articulating
and protecting the right to life of all innocent human beings, born and
unborn. This commitment is derived from a belief that each human being, from
the time of fertilization
to natural death, has immeasurable dignity and an unalienable right to life.
Elemental justice demands that this basic right be protected by law.
How can I contribute to the pro-life movement?
Tennessee Right to Life plays a unique role within the pro-life movement.
Our membership is composed of people of all walks of life, from all
educational backgrounds and all religious faiths. Our unifying and
coordinating efforts reach across the whole state covering all our affiliates
and networking with other specialized pro-life groups.
By joining and maintaining your membership in Tennessee Right to Life, you
can play a part in strengthening the pro-life movement in our state and in
Click to and
help us help the unborn and at risk women.
How is Tennessee Right to Life funded?
Tennessee Right to Life is supported
through contributions from members and special activities of affiliates.
Because we receive the donated services of so many volunteers, administrative
and operating costs are kept at a minimum, thus enabling monies to be spent
on programs and projects that will further our goals of restoring protection
to the unborn. The balance of our revenues is spent on those programs and
projects which will effectively raise the consciousness of the public
regarding the life issues.
Assisted suicide affects only me and my
family. If my family supports my decision, why is Tennessee Right to Life against it?
All human life until the time of natural
death has immeasurable dignity and an unalienable right to life. Assisted
suicide and euthanasia
are not isolated events. By their nature they will require medical
professionals to be arbiters of life and death, deciding whose life is
worthwhile. Legalizing suicide will also have untold consequences on
vulnerable groups of people. Elderly adults already have the highest rate of
suicide. If death becomes an option, many who feel they are a "burden"
to their families may opt to "get out of the way." Legalizing death
could easily glamorize it in the eyes of our youth. How many suicidal teens
would rationalize their suicide as acceptable, since suicide is
"legal?" Societal acceptance of intentional death will eventually
lead to social preference for some to die.
Why are you against fetal tissue research?
Tennessee Right to Life is not opposed
to research conducted on fetal tissue resulting from spontaneous abortions
(miscarriages, eptopic pregnancies). In all other cases this type of research
denies the personhood of the unborn child, while acknowledging that their
tissue is useful precisely because it is human. Fetal
tissue research in effect says to the unborn, "you can be useful to
society, you just can't be a member of it."
How many abortions are performed in the U.S. per year?
million abortions are performed in the United States per year, according to statistics reported by the Alan
Guttmacher Institute 1998 - 2001.
How many abortions are performed in Tennessee per year?
In 2004, 13,902 abortions were performed on women residing in the
state of Tennessee at the time of their abortion, according to statistics
reported by the Tennessee Department of Health.
Why is Tennessee Right to Life involved in politics?
Tennessee Right to Life-PAC coordinates
our nonpartisan involvement in the political process to elect candidates who
support the goals of protecting and preserving innocent human life, born and
unborn. Experience has shown the importance of electing pro-life legislators
at the state and federal levels to ensure solid pro-life legislation.
What is Roe
vs. Wade, I have heard about it but I do not understand what the big deal is?
Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (January 22, 1973). Roe
invalidated a 19th century Texas statute prohibiting abortion except in cases
where necessary to preserve maternal life, on the basis that the right of
privacy secured by the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
includes a fundamental right to decide whether or not to bring a pregnancy to
term. (Blackmun) Contrary to popular misconception, the 1973 Supreme Court
decision did not legalize abortion only in the early months of pregnancy or
under restricted circumstances. After extensive public hearings in 1982, the
U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee issued an official report which concluded, "As
a result of the Roe decision, a right to abortion was effectively established
for the entire term of pregnancy for virtually any reason, whether for sake
of personal finances, social convenience, or individual lifestyle...Thus, the
Committee observes that no significant legal barriers of any kind whatsoever
exist in the United States for a woman to obtain an abortion for any reason
during any stage of her pregnancy." (Report of the Committee on the
Judiciary, United States Senate, on S.J. Res. 110, June 8, 1982, pages 3 and
Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179 (January 22, 1973). Doe
invalidated a Georgia "reform" abortion statute that permitted
abortion where continued pregnancy would endanger the woman's life or health,
where the fetus would likely be born with a serious defect, or where
pregnancy resulted from rape. The statute also required that abortion be
performed in an accredited hospital, and that two physicians confirm the
performing physician's judgment of necessity for the abortion. Doe is
frequently cited for its definition of maternal "health" to include
a broad range of factors, including general maternal "well-being,"
as a justification for legalized abortion during the last trimester of
pregnancy. (Blackmun) In effect, so long as a woman can find a physician
willing to perform an abortion, she has a constitutional right to obtain an
abortion in the United States at any time throughout the nine months of pregnancy,
right up to birth. Thus, the justices of the Supreme Court, disregarding
prior legal tradition, overwhelming biological evidence and the ethical
tradition of a majority of the American people, struck down the abortion laws
of all 50 states (even the most permissive at the time) and made abortion on
demand, at virtually every stage of pregnancy, the law of the land.
22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court
in two separate decisions (Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton),
ruled that any state abortion law in the future would have to meet the
First Trimester: During the first three months of pregnancy, the state
must leave the abortion decision entirely to a woman and her physician.
Second Trimester: During the second three months, the state may only enact
laws which regulate abortions in ways "reasonably related to maternal
health." This simply means that a state may determine who is
qualified to perform the abortion and where such an operation may take
place. The state may not, however, enact laws which safeguard the lives
of the unborn.
Third Trimester: After the woman's sixth or seventh month of pregnancy,
the law may forbid her to have an abortion that is not determined to be
necessary to preserve her "life or health." The court went on
to define the word "health" in such broad terms i.e., social
well-being as to make it virtually impossible for a state to protect
the unborn child even after the sixth or seventh month of pregnancy.
(Doe vs. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179 stated . . . the medical judgment may be exercised
in the light of all factors physical, emotional, psychological,
familial, and the woman's age relevant to the well-being of the
patient. All these factors may relate to health. This allows the
attending physician the room he needs . . . 410 U.S. at 192.)