Pro Life in TN

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Pro Life thoughts in a pro choice world through the eyes of a convert. I took early retirement after working in the social work and Human Resources fields but remain active by being involved in pro life education, lobbying and speaking .



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Banner day for pro life Tennessee

Rep. Susan Lynn photo
How sweet it is in Tennessee! 

Today saw landmark decisions in the state legislature when two bills were passed overwhelmingly  in the House,  having previously passed in  the same overwhelming manner in the Senate. They are now on their way to Governor Haslam who is expected to sign these bills.

These bills will implement informed consent, 48 hour waiting period after receiving this information, and requiring that abortion facilities performing 50 abortions per year  be licensed and inspected by the Department of Health. 

Tennessee used to have these protections before being  hit with  a  lawsuit   by Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.  They  sued to remove three regulations around abortion that had been voted into place by bi partisan legislators. These were informed consent, 48 hour waiting period, and that later term abortions must be done in hospital settings. The decision was announced September 15, 2000 in their favor by the TN Supreme Court, and with it the justices found  a broad right to an abortion in our state Constitution.  Their  decision  prevented any regulation from being enforced that could not pass a strict scrutiny standard.

This decision  emboldened an abortionist operating  two facilities to sue when the Department of Health when they  tried to inspect the centers and demand that he meet the standards of same day surgery centers. He prevailed in court by saying he was operating under a doctor’s office license and did not have to meet these regulations unless he performed a substantial number of abortions. The court did not define what constitutes a substantial number leaving it unanswered; so he was  free to operate using this loophole. Others followed suit. As a result Tennessee became known as the abortion mecca of the southeast and ranked  third state nationally for out of state women coming to get their abortions.

The dissenting judge from the 2000 decision advised the only remedy for the people was to enact an amendment to the constitution stating that it was silent on the issue of abortion and allowing the people to once again speak through their elected legislators to enact regulations around abortions. Amending the Constitution is an arduous process. It must pass the General Assembly by a simple majority, followed by a super majority, appear on the ballot in a year that a Governor is elected and pass by at least 50% plus one of the number of votes cast for Governor.

 It took 14 years to get to this point for it to be on the ballot. Along the way, it was essential for the pro life issue to be front and center in elections changing the  political landscape dramatically. This battle  received national attention. On  November 4, 2014 despite  being outspent 3-1 ,  having  all four major city newspapers endorse the Planned Parenthood position, the pro-life amendment known as Amendment One  relied upon a strong grassroots effort in all 95 counties and  focused  on the power of the pulpit to win  53% to 47% in Tennessee.

The first legislative session began in January, 2015 and today's landmark passage of these three protections was a sweet victory for many.

Tennessee Right to Life thanks the people of Tennessee who supported Amendment 1 and the many legislative sponsors and supporters of these bills to protect the health and safety of women and girls,” said Brian Harris, the organization’s president. “Children will now be given a better chance at life because their mothers and families had the extra time and opportunity to make fully informed decisions.”
Today’s losers? “Those who profit from unregulated abortion in Tennessee,” said Harris. Winners? “Women, girls and families are empowered by the requirement that adequate and accurate information is provided to assure careful decisions to protect health and life in our state."

Thursday, April 9, 2015

TN: Knoxville abortionist compares abortion to a face lift....

Dr. Susan Dodd, abortionist from Knoxville TN took time away from her busy practice to come to Nashville on April 8th to lobby and testify against a bill for informed consent for women considering abortion. She feels that it is too cumbersome for the busy abortionist to meet with the patient and answer the questions about the irreversible procedure of abortion.

  Ed Albin of TN Right to Life was in the hearing room to listen to the lengthy debate over providing informed consent and establishing a 48 hour waiting period after the informed consent. He reports...

 "House Bill 0977 requiring informed consent and a 48-hour waiting period passes the House Health Committee by voice vote after lengthy debate! It will now move to House Calendar. Thanks to sponsors Reps. Matthew Hill and Debra Moody. This after Knoxville abortionist, Dr. Susan Dodd, testified that "abortions are safer than carrying a pregnancy" and compared having an abortion to a face lift and a colonoscopy."
 Her comments start around 2:23.

Photo: Vote No on 1TN campaign