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Pro-Life State Legislator, Rep. Bill Dunn, Retiring

"Rep. Dunn's prudence and persistence toward accomplishing pro-life goals have been key to establishing one of the most significant state records of Right to Life policy in the country."

Karen Brukardt, TRL Board Member

Raised by parents who served as early founders of Tennessee Right to Life in the 1970s, state Rep. Bill Dunn's pro-life roots run deep. His leadership during the 1990s as president of the local Right to Life chapter in Knoxville exemplified an astute understanding of pro-life politics and the importance of organizing advocates for effective action. Dunn's election to the state House in 1994 would prove pivotal in the fierce legislative battles that followed to promote meaningful pro-life policies, especially the sixteen-year effort to pass pro-life Amendment 1 in 2014.

"It is hard to imagine a more important figure in Tennessee's pro-life legislative history," said Karen Brukardt, Tennessee Right to Life Board member, and former Legislative Liaison."Rep. Dunn's prudence and persistence toward accomplishing pro-life goals have been key to establishing one of the most significant state records of Right to Life policy in the country," said Brukardt.  "Tennessee remains the only state to have now passed both a pro-life amendment to our state Constitution as well as legislation to fully restore our state's pre-Roe laws upon overturn of the landmark ruling in whole or in part. Dunn's thoughtful guidance and careful counsel to pro-life leaders and legislators over the years has been instrumental in passing laws that are enforceable and effective in saving lives and helping women and families in need."

"Perhaps most remarkable is the decorum and dignity with which Rep. Dunn maintains himself among colleagues and advocates, even among those with whom he disagrees," said Brukardt. "His mature and moral leadership will be deeply missed at the General Assembly but we remain confident that Tennessee Right to Life will continue to benefit from the wisdom, good will, and compassion that embodies Bill Dunn." 



Tuesday, August 20, 2019: Tennessee Right to Life thanks Governor Bill Lee for signing into law the Human Life Protection Act (SB 1257/HB 1029). The law will take effect upon the reversal of Roe v Wadein whole or in part, by the U.S. Supreme Court. It will enact the full restoration of Tennessee's protective pre-Roe laws. The act also restores the right of Tennesseans to decide these public policies on abortion for ourselves.

"It has always been the priority of Tennessee's pro-life movement to restore the fullest possible protection to the largest number of unborn children and women in our state," said Stacy Dunn, vice-president of Tennessee Right to Life. "While states like New York are moving to strip any limits to abortion--even at the moments before birth---Tennessee wants to protect unborn children and their mothers from the tragedy of abortion."

Prime sponsors of the measure were Senator Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) and Representative Susan Lynn (R-Mount Juliet.) It was passed overwhelmingly by both the Senate, 26-5, and the House, 69-24.

"This pro-life bill was passed in large part due to the vigilant care with which sponsors Gresham and Lynn shepherded the measure. Tennessee Right to Life expresses our appreciation for their work and wisdom," said Trecia Dillingham, board member for the organization. "We look forward to continuing to work with the Legislature to restore full protection to the vulnerable unborn in our state," said Dillingham.