State Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Human Life Protection Act

Tennessee Right to Life expresses full support and appreciation to state Senator Mike Bell (R-Riceville) for his principled Pro-life leadership. As chairman of the influential state Senate Judiciary Committee, Bell helped on Tuesday to shepherd passage of the Human Life Protection Act sponsored by Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville). If enacted this “trigger law” mirrors those in a growing number of states and guarantees the full restoration of Tennessee’s protective laws when Roe vs. Wade is overturned in whole or in part. Tennessee’s strongly protective Pro-life statutes were stripped off the state law books following Roe vs. Wade and must be restored in order to fully protect Tennessee’s women, girls and unborn children from abortion. Additionally, Chairman Mike Bell gracefully guided debate and testimony on Tuesday evening which resulted in the proposed “heartbeat bill” being scheduled for further testimony and deliberation in August. Many Pro-life observers have noted that Tennessee’s proposed Heartbeat law is not significantly different from those already struck down in each state where it has been passed. Building a legislative record of findings could provide for a stronger legal defense should the “heartbeat bill” be challenged, as it inevitably will be, if passed by the Tennessee legislature.  Continue reading

State House Committee to Vote on Discharge Petition for Human Life Protection Act

Following the recent sub-committee defeat of the Human Life Protection Act (HB 1029) by Rep. Susan Lynn (R-Mt. Juliet), members of the full House Health Committee have agreed to consider a "discharge petition" which would allow the bill to be brought forward to the full committee for consideration.  The Health Committee will meet on Wednesday morning, April 10, at 8:00 a.m. (CDT) Without being "discharged" to the full committee, this pro-life legislation will be dead for the session. Your contact is urgently needed right now and likely represents the most important pro-life action you can take this year.  For more background, please see Please immediately contact members of the House Health Committee. Continue reading

Tennessee's State Senate Judiciary Committee to Vote Today on Human Life Protection Act (SB 1257)

Tennessee's Human Life Protection Act (SB 1257) is the legislative priority of Tennessee Right to Life and is sponsored by Senator Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville.) This legislation would take effect upon the reversal of Roe v Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court and would enact the full restoration of Tennessee's protective pre-Roe laws. Passage would also restore the right of Tennesseans to decide these public policies on abortion for ourselves. Continue reading

Sens. Mike Rounds and James Lankford introduce ban on dismemberment abortion in U.S. Senate

WASHINGTON, THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2019 – The National Right to Life Committee today commended Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) for their leadership in introducing the Dismemberment Abortion Ban Act. This vital pro-life legislation would prohibit the performance of dismemberment abortion. The legislation is based on a model state bill proposed by National Right to Life, which has been enacted in Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia. Enactment is pending gubernatorial signature in Indiana and North Dakota, and more states are expected to consider this high priority legislation in 2019. "We thank Senator Rounds and Senator Lankford for their advocacy in advancing this dismemberment abortion ban," said National Right to Life President Carol Tobias. "We believe this law has the power to change how the public views the gruesome reality of abortion in the United States. Before the first trimester ends, the unborn child has a beating heart, brain waves, and every organ system in place. Dismemberment abortions occur after this living baby has reached these developmental milestones." Continue reading

Tennessee Right to Life Expresses Concern at Heartbeat Abortion Ban in Current Form

Bill Removes Post-Viability Protections for Unborn Children in Tennessee NASHVILLE, MARCH 5, 2019 - Tennessee Right to Life respectfully underscores the concerns of our organization with regard to H.B. 77, the heartbeat abortion ban legislation. Heartbeat bills have been struck down as unconstitutional in each state where it was passed and signed into law (North Dakota, Arkansas, Iowa.) As presently drafted, H.B. 77 removes Tennessee's post-viability ban language enacted by the Tennessee General Assembly in 2017. H.B. 77 makes no provision for the protection of viable unborn children during the period in which the heartbeat ban is tied up in court. The TN-ACLU has already announced their intention to file suit if the heartbeat ban is passed and signed. Continue reading

Pro-Abortion Senators Block Bill to Protect Born Alive Survivors of Abortion

WASHINGTON, Monday, February 27, 2019 – The U.S. Senate today voted 53-44 to advance the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (S. 130) sponsored by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), but pro-abortion Democrats, in a near-party-line-vote, blocked the bill from receiving the 60 votes necessary to move forward ("invoke cloture"). The bill would extend federal legal protection to babies who are born alive during an abortion. Tennessee Senators Lamar Alexander and Marsha Blackburn voted Pro-life and for the bill. "Today we saw the extremism of the abortion industry's agenda on full display," said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. "The 44 members of the United States Senate who voted against this bill now need to explain to their constituents why they believe abortion is such an absolute 'right' that it protects what amounts to infanticide: willfully withholding life-saving care from an born-alive infant." Continue reading

Pro-Life Women Introduce Human Life Protection Act

  Right to Life proposal seeks post-Roe protections for women, girls and unborn children Nashville, February 13, 2019 - Today, pro-life female legislators introduced legislation supported by Tennessee Right to Life that, upon reversal of Roe v Wade, would restore full legal protections for unborn children. Speaking at a Capitol Hill press conference, state Senator Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) joined state Representative Susan Lynn (R- Mt. Juliet) to explain the bill's objectives. "With the possibility that there might soon exist a majority on the U.S. Supreme Court willing to give states greater latitude on the matter of abortion, we want to be pro-active to ensure that Tennessee continues to lead the way to the fullest possible protection for human life," said Gresham. Rep. Lynn added "It has always been the priority of Tennessee's pro-life movement to restore protection to the largest number of unborn children and women in our state. While states like New York are moving to strip any limits to abortion--even at the moments just before birth---Tennessee wants to be known for protecting our children."  Continue reading

Supreme Court Blocks Pro-Life Law

Tennessee Right to Life expresses deep disappointment in the unwillingness of the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold even the most modest regulation of abortion facilities in Louisiana. Similar to a 2012 Tennessee statute requiring abortion providers to hold admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, the lower court had upheld the Louisiana law as constitutional. (Tennessee's law is unenforced following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a 2016 case called Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt.) Continue reading

Planned Parenthood Suspends Abortions in Nashville

PLANNED PARENTHOOD SUSPENDS ABORTION SERVICES IN NASHVILLE NASHVILLE, DECEMBER 11, 2018 - Responding to the decision announced Monday by Planned Parenthood to suspend abortion services in Nashville: "Planned Parenthood is the nation's largest provider and promoter of abortion and Nashville's Planned Parenthood facility is reputed to be the busiest abortion center in the Volunteer State," said Brian Harris, president of Tennessee Right to Life. "With the suspension of abortion services in our state's largest city, Tennessee Right to Life is grateful for a Christmas miracle." Continue reading

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