UPDATE: The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill with 7 yes votes and 2 abstentions. The bill now will be considered by the full Senate. Governor's pro-life reform bill to be heard in Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, March 22 On Tuesday, March 22, Tennessee will take its next steps toward greater protection for life as Governor Haslam's legislation to reform the operation of abortion facilities receives its first vote. SB 2568 will be taken up Tuesday afternoon, 1:00 p.m., (CDT) by members of the State Senate Judiciary Committee chaired by pro-life state Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-Collierville). The bill is sponsored in the Senate by pro-life state Sen. Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield) and includes increased inspection and record-keeping requirements at abortion facilities and prohibits the purchase and sale of human fetal remains in Tennessee. Continue reading
UPDATE: The House Health Subcommittee passed HB2577 on a voice vote on March 23, it will now be scheduled for the full House Health Committee in the next few days! The 109th General Assembly has already produced great gains for Tennessee's pro-life movement including the restoration of statutes requiring that abortion facilities be licensed and inspected by the state health department and that abortion promoters provide informed consent and a 48-hour waiting period for women and girls considering abortion. While Federal Judge Kevin Sharp has currently enjoined enforcement of the licensure law at the state's 2 unlicensed abortion facilities, the consent and waiting period provisions are successfully saving lives as women, girls and families receive accurate information and additional time to make life-affirming decisions for themselves and their unborn children. Continue reading
Update on Pro-Life Amendment 1 Federal District Judge Kevin Sharp announced on Wednesday that oral arguments will begin on April 5 in the lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood Board Chair Tracey George against the people of Tennessee. In their suit, pro-abortion activists claim that the state's method of counting votes on Amendment 1 favored supporters of the amendment and violated the voting rights of pro-abortion Tennesseans who opposed it. The trial had previously been scheduled to begin on March 8. Continue reading
End Preferential Treatment in Tennessee for Pro-Abortion NEA-Tennessee Education Association Urge State House Committee Members to Support Pro-Life HB 294 Pro-life advocates have long protested the pro-abortion political activity of the nation's largest teacher's union and have attempted to end the extreme policy stances of the NEA-Tennessee Education Association which support abortion-on-demand and the funding of pro-abortion candidates for public office. The union's official position on abortion is referred to as Resolution I-17 and has been interpreted by pro-abortion supporters during convention floor debates as defending an unlimited "right to reproductive freedom", code words for abortion-on-demand.Parliamentary efforts by pro-life teachers to prevent the use of dues money to support abortions have been consistently defeated. Continue reading
On Friday, on the 43rd anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting Texas against a challenge to the state’s quality standards for abortion providers–Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole. Texas requires, as do many states, that abortionists have hospital admitting privileges and that abortion clinics meet the same standards as other ambulatory surgery clinics. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the Texas laws. Key to the case is the level of scrutiny federal courts should apply to decide if such laws are constitutional. The NRLC brief addressed the Court’s “undue burden” scrutiny, explaining that the Fifth Circuit correctly followed that applicable test. Continue reading
Thank you to members of Tennessee's congressional delegation who voted on Wednesday to defund Planned Parenthood's abortion empire by redirecting tax dollars to ethical health providers who neither promote nor perform abortions. Voting to re-direct funds were Congressmen Diane Black, Marsha Blackburn, Scott DesJarlais, Jimmy Duncan, Stephen Fincher, Chuck Fleischmann, and Phil Roe, MD. Voting to continue funding Planned Parenthood were pro-abortion Congressmen Steve Cohen and Jim Cooper. Continue reading
Data released by the Tennessee Department of Health shows a continued dramatic decrease in the number of abortions being sought by women residing in Tennessee. 9,861 abortions were reported in 2014 which represents an 11% decrease from the 11,134 resident abortions in 2013. This is the lowest number since 1975! More details and analysis.
The state's oldest and largest pro-life organization expresses profound sadness and concern at reports of a Murfreesboro woman accused of attempting to self-abort her viable unborn child. According to media reports, a 31-year-old Rutherford county woman has been indicted and jailed on charges of attempted first-degree murder following an alleged attempt to self-abort her 24-week-old unborn baby. The woman and child both survived and the child is said to face a future of serious health challenges as a result of the attempted abortion. Tennessee Right to Life urges women, girls and families facing an unexpected or difficult pregnancy to contact a local pregnancy resource center, adoption agency or county health department. "There is help and support available to any woman or girl facing the prospect of a difficult pregnancy and no one has to face this challenge alone," said Karen Brukardt, spokeswoman at Tennessee Right to Life. Continue reading
Citing a Texas case now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, lower court Judge Kevin Sharp has agreed to a request made by both the state and pro-abortion lawyers asking that further action on the Tennessee lawsuit be delayed until after the nation's highest court rules on Texas laws which are "substantially similar" to Tennessee's pro-life laws. Those health and safety safeguards include informed consent and waiting period for women and girls considering abortion, state inspection and regulation of abortion facilities and the 2012 requirement that abortion providers hold admitting privileges at a local hospital. Click here for more information about the court case.
While it remains unclear whether last Friday's violent attack in Colorado Springs was motivated by opposition to Planned Parenthood , pro-life leaders throughout the nation have condemned the shootings as contradictory to the philosophy and goals of the Right to Life movement. Tennessee Right to Life has consistently opposed violence and intimidation against abortion providers recognizing that the life of abortion center staff is equally sacred and worthy of protection. "We speak out for life and insist that the way to achieve protection for unborn children is not through the taking of other lives. There is no justification for acts of deadly violence and most especially acts perpetrated in the name of a movement committed to justice and the protection of human life." (January 29, 1998.) National Right to Life Condemns Acts of Violence in Colorado Springs Why National Right to Life always has and always will condemn violence in the strongest possible terms