Yes on 1 Ballot Committee Files Friend of the Court Brief

Advocates Urge 6th Circuit to Protect Voting Rights of Pro-Life Tennesseans Nashville, October 14, 2016--On Friday morning, supporters of the 2014 Amendment dealing with abortion regulation in Tennessee filed a Friend of the Court brief as the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals prepares to consider arguments as to whether the votes of some pro-life Tennesseans may be thrown out. 8,850 Tennessee voters joined their names to the brief on behalf of the Yes on 1 campaign arguing that the campaign has a direct interest not only in supporting Amendment 1's ratification, but also in ensuring that the constitutional right to vote guaranteed to each Tennessean is fully protected. On November 4, 2014, Amendment 1 was passed by a vote of 53% to 47%.  Three days later, supporters of Planned Parenthood filed suit in Federal District Court insisting that the minority must prevail over the majority because "certain votes in favor of Amendment 1 receive(d) disproportionate weight..." Earlier this year, Federal District Judge Kevin Sharp sided with Planned Parenthood and ordered that the votes of potentially tens of thousands of voters be disqualified on the basis that "voting for governor is a precondition to having a vote on an amendment count." Sharp has directed state election officials to prepare to recount the 2014 ballots, an order that has been stayed pending a decision by the 6th Circuit in the case. "The people of Tennessee spoke with their votes in 2014," said Brian Harris, president of Tennessee Right to Life.  "Pro-life advocates organized early to win Amendment 1 and then worked the campaign plan all the way to the closing of the polls on election night.  As a result of focused hard work and sacrifice, the amendment was won in 88 of 95 counties. That's how our political system works and we fully expect the courts to uphold the votes of every Tennessean, including those who supported the passage and ratification of Amendment 1." Tennessee election law expert Daniel Horwitz filed the brief on behalf of Yes on 1 saying "This is not a case about whether one is pro-life or pro-choice.  This is a case about whether one believes that people who are pro-life should have the right to vote." As the case unfolds, additional briefs and oral arguments by both sides are expected to be scheduled by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

U.S. House Rebukes Obama Administration; Votes to Protect Health Care Providers

U.S. House votes to protect health care providers from state-mandated abortion WASHINGTON (July 13, 2016) – The president of National Right to Life today commended Republican leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives for winning passage of a bill to protect health care providers from the growing threat of state-government attempts to coerce participation in abortion. The House passed the Conscience Protection Act (S. 304, containing text identical to H.R. 4828) on a near party-line vote of 245-182. "State agencies in California and New York are mandating insurance coverage of abortion, and the Obama Administration recently made it clear that it will not enforce federal laws that prohibit such mandates," said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. "The Conscience Protection Act will allow direct access to the federal courts for the victims of coercive pro-abortion government policies." Continue reading

NRLC Responds to US Supreme Court Decision in Whole Women's Health v. Hellerstedt

WASHINGTON – By a vote of 5-3, the U.S. Supreme Court today struck provisions of a Texas law requiring abortion clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers and requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital in case of medical emergencies (with certain exceptions.) The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals previously rejected facial attacks on both provisions. “How shabby are these abortion clinics that they cannot meet the minimum standards other outpatient surgical centers are required to meet, and just how bad are these abortionists that they can’t get admitting privileges at a local hospital?,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “As we saw with Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia, it’s clear that the lucrative abortion industry is not able or willing to police itself and allows filthy, deplorable conditions to go unchecked.” Continue reading

Yes on 1 Files State Court Motion on Behalf of Disenfranchised Voters

Yes on 1 Campaign Seeks to Intervene On Behalf of Voters Threatened with Disenfranchisement Motion Filed Friday Morning in State Court   Nashville, April 29, 2016---A motion filed Friday morning by proponents of Yes on 1 seeks to intervene on behalf of state voters who are threatened with having their votes thrown out as a result of last week's ruling by federal Judge Kevin Sharp.  In an unprecedented decision, Sharp directed state election officials to undertake a recount of the November 2014 general election and to void all ballots cast on Amendment 1 by voters who did not also vote in the governor's race.   On Tuesday, Tennessee's Attorney General announced an appeal of Sharp's ruling to the U.S. Sixth Circuit stating, "We obviously disagree with the federal court's decision...Simply put, deciding what vote is required to amend the Tennessee Constitution is a matter of state law to be determined by a Tennessee Court."   In a separate action, Daniel Horwitz, counsel for the Yes on 1 Ballot Committee, prepared a motion asking state court Judge Michael Binkley to allow supporters of the pro-life amendment to intervene in the case in order to address the unique harm threatened to YES voters that the federal judge seeks to disenfranchise.    Continue reading

TN Right to Life Responds to Ruling on Amendment 1

Federal Judge Threatens to Disenfranchise Pro-Life Voters Judge Kevin Sharp issues ruling singling out Amendment 1, Leaves others intact   Nashville (April 25, 2016)---Just a day after a state court judge ruled in favor of the state's process for counting and ratifying votes on proposed amendments to the state constitution, a federal judge has ordered a recount of ballots on pro-life Amendment 1 and declared that some votes in support of the amendment be thrown out.  At question is the interpretation of Article XI, Section 3 of the state Constitution which now places state and federal judges favoring different readings of the same clause.   On Thursday, Williamson County Circuit County Judge Michael Binkley, sitting as Chancellor, ruled that there is no constitutional restriction or precondition on the right of a citizen to vote for or against a constitutional amendment and also voting in the gubernatorial election.   On Friday, U.S. Federal District Court Judge Kevin Sharp countered by ordering a recount of the Amendment 1 votes and affirming the arguments of Planned Parenthood plaintiffs that the manner of counting votes, specifically on Amendment 1, violates undue process and equal protections clauses of the U.S. Constitution.  As such, Sharp has ordered state election officials to prepare a timetable for a recount of the votes on Amendment 1.    Continue reading

TN House Passes Ban on Sale of Human Fetal Body Parts

Human Fetal Remains Bill Passes House and Senate Legislation Prevents Sale or Reimbursement by Abortion Providers   Nashville, April 14, 2016---Legislation banning the sale of fetal remains by abortion providers in Tennessee passed the state House overwhelmingly today by a vote of 79-9.  The bill is a priority of the Haslam administration and was approved earlier in the state Senate 28-2.   In addition to banning the sale of fetal remains, HB 2577 also prohibits reimbursement for the transfer, preservation or other handling of fetal body parts following a surgical abortion.  Sponsored by Rep. Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville) and Sen. Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield), the bill strengthens reporting requirements to include documentation of the method for disposal of remains and requires authorization by a woman or girl considering an abortion as to the method of disposal.   Continue reading

Right to Life Praises Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey's Record

Nashville, March 16, 2016--- Tennessee Right to Life responded this morning to news of Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey's retirement from the state Senate with praise for the legislative leader. "Tennessee's pro-life movement and unborn children have had no greater friend than Ron Ramsey," said Brian Harris, president of Tennessee Right to Life.  "Part of his legacy will certainly be the election of pro-life super-majorities to the Legislature and passage of pro-life Amendment 1." Continue reading

National Right to Life Mourns the Death of Justice Antonin Scalia

For immediate release: Saturday, February 13, 2016 For more information: Tatiana Bergum, (202) 626-8825, [email protected] NATIONAL RIGHT TO LIFE MOURNS DEATH OF JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA WASHINGTON – The following statement may be attributed to Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life: We are deeply saddened by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Justice Scalia steadfastly defended the right of elected lawmakers to enact laws that protect unborn children and their mothers and he often issued powerful critiques of the judicially manufactured barriers that limited such legislative efforts. Our thoughts and prayers are with Justice Scalia's widow and family. Founded in 1968, National Right to Life, the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters, is the nation's oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement, NRLC works through legislation and education to protect innocent human life from abortion, infanticide, assisted suicide and euthanasia. # # #

Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to Texas Pro-Life Law

National Right to Life Committee, Inc. For immediate release: Friday, November 13, 2015 For more information: Tatiana Bergum, (202) 626-8825, [email protected] Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to Texas Pro-Life Law WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court today agreed to hear a challenge to a 5th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that upheld most of a Texas omnibus pro-life law. At issue are two provisions of HB 2, which the Texas legislature passed in 2013, that abortion clinics meet the same building standards as ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) and that abortionists have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital for situations of medical emergencies. The latter has already gone into effect. "The abortion industry doesn't like these laws because abortion clinics would be forced to spend money to meet basic health and safety standards" said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. "For them, this isn't about 'protecting' the women they purport to help, it's about preserving their cash flow." Continue reading

House Committee Continues Hearings on Planned Parenthood

For immediate release: Thursday, October 8, 2015For more information: Tatiana Bergum, (202) 626-8825, [email protected]  HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE CONTINUES HEARINGS INVESTIGATINGPLANNED PARENTHOOD’S ABORTION BUSINESS  WASHINGTON – The U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary today held a second hearing examining Planned Parenthood’s abortion business. The hearing, titled "“Planned Parenthood Exposed: Examining Abortion Procedures and Medical Ethics at the Nation’s Largest Abortion Provider,” comes on the heels of a series of videos by The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) exposing the gruesome business of baby-body-part harvesting and trafficking, often involving affiliates of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), the nation’s largest abortion provider “Planned Parenthood now commands about one-third of the total abortion 'market',” said Carol Tobias, National Right to Life president. “We fully support investigations into many aspects of this grisly business. Planned Parenthood equals abortion.” Continue reading