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 .



Saturday, April 16, 2016

TN: Fetal Remains bill victorious bill victorius

Elections have consequences. You have heard that statement before because it is true. 

In 2011, under the guidance of pro-life Governor Bill Haslam (R), Tennessee became one of the first states to use administrative authority to divert funding away from Planned Parenthood to healthcare providers who do not commit abortions. This thwarted the anticipated legal challenge from the abortion industry that usually follows a legislative action.

Now in 2016, we have more pro-life victories to show what can be accomplished when we elect a pro-life governor and majorities in the General Assembly.
Tennessee Right to Life reports that  early in  2016, the governor called for “reforms to the Tennessee Department of Health to include unannounced inspections of the licensed facilities in order to ensure compliance with all laws and regulations, strengthened record-keeping requirements by the licensed facilities related to the disposition of fetal remains, and a simplified process to report complaints against surgical facilities.” 

This was  brought in response  to the release of undercover videos last summer in which high-ranking Planned Parenthood leaders were caught negotiating the sale of baby body parts, Governor Haslam responded with the drafting of legislation "to strengthen accountability and transparency for surgery centers performing abortions."  The pro-life bill is opposed by Planned Parenthood and some researchers who depended on upon the aborted fetal remains for experimentation.

The fact that the legislation was promoted and made a priority by Governor Haslam was instrumental in its expedited passage.  It passed the state senate by a vote of 28-2 and the state house by 79-9. In a separate bill, Rep. Bryan Terry, M.D. (R-Murfreesboro) proposed requiring that authorization for the method of disposal be by signed rather than inferred consent by the woman or girl considering an abortion.  That bill was also passed easily by the House on Thursday by a vote of 89-0.

 "Pro-life Tennesseans are grateful to the Legislature and to the Governor for bringing about this common sense reform to prevent the trafficking of remains of unborn children killed by abortion in our state," said Cathy Waterbury, legislative liaison for Tennessee Right to Life.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

San Bernadino ties with Ft. Hood as the deadliest terror attack on US soil since 911...reports forget 14th victim in TX

We can all agree that POTUS is a skilled wordsmith. He and his speech writers are adept at parsing words. Listening to the recent speech from the Oval Office.  A particular wording caught my attention.

Over the last few years, however, the terrorist threat has evolved into a new phase. As we’ve become better at preventing complex, multifaceted attacks like 9/11, terrorists turned to less complicated acts of violence like the mass shootings that are all too common in our society. It is this type of attack that we saw at Fort Hood in 2009; in Chattanooga earlier this year; and now in San Bernardino. And as groups like ISIL grew stronger amidst the chaos of war in Iraq and then Syria, and as the Internet erases the distance between countries, we see growing efforts by terrorists to poison the minds of people like the Boston Marathon bombers and the San Bernardino killers.

For six years, the official word was the shooting at Ft. Hood was  "workplace violence." As this headline notes, it was six long years later for Obama finally acknowledge it as an act of terror. So there it is.  The other official wording  that continues to rankle me is saying that 13 were killed in that shooting with an occasional brief reference to one of the victims being pregnant. Pro lifers know better. There were 14 victims killed that day....not 13. Let us acknowledge all the victims.

So when news commentators and print articles continue to label  the terror attack at San Bernadino as the deadliest terror attack on US soil since 911 killing 14; I want to remind them that it ties with the one in 2009 at Ft. Hood where  14 were also  killed. 

As Michelle Malkin writes...

Fourteen victims fell on Nov. 5, 2009, not 13. Thirteen of our U.S. military personnel died in cold blood at the deployment center. But the death toll was actually 14. Pvt. Francheska Velez, 21, was pregnant when Hasan shot her during the first round of gunfire. At a military Article 32 hearing in 2010 (analogous to a civilian grand jury hearing), a survivor of the Fort Hood shootings testified that Velez cried out, “My baby! My baby!”

So for the record, the Ft. Hood shooting was the deadliest terror attack on US soil since 911 with 14 killed and the attack at San Bernadino ties with it.

Monday, October 26, 2015

U of MN and PP shared signage....weathered the storm or in your face defiance ??

University of Minnesota appears to be  stonewalling after being exposed by a Center for Medical Progress video featuring  a manager for Advanced Bioscience Research  casually chatting  about the process of purchasing fetal tissue with an potential buyer according to the  Daily Caller.
"In a recent Center for Medical Progress video, a manager for Advanced Bioscience Resources discusses the process of procuring body parts from abortion clinics, including Minnesota clinics. Advanced Bioscience Resources has a location in St. Paul and is listed in good standing in the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office records."
This caused Students for Life at University of Minnesota to stage a demonstration calling for President Kaler to clarify that the University's  position of fetal tissue research. 

Alpha News is following this  issue  closely and reports  that a state legislator  has written a formal request to the University's Board of Regents turning up the heat. 
Yesterday afternoon, Rep. Marion O’Neill, (R-Maple Lake), sent a letter to the University’s Board of Regents and asked for some answers regarding fetal tissue research at the state institution.
Pro life activist, Anne Taylor was traveling westbound on Highway 394 out of Minneapolis and noticed a new billboard put up by Planned Parenthood  supporters .

Taylor noted that the signage on the eastbound side of the billboard from the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital has been up for some time.

Taylor notes...."There are no words to describe the sickness pervading such a yin/yang message.  Apparently PP thinks 'they've weathered the storm."

Have they weathered the storm or just placing taunting messages as an in your face defiance ?

H/T: Anne Taylor

Monday, September 21, 2015

After two venues say no..... Nashville's synagogue agrees to host Planned Parenthood fundraiser

Jeff Teague , the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee accused Nashville's Gordon Jewish Community Center of sub-cumming to bullies when they cancelled their October 1st fundraiser cocktail party called Amuse-Bouche, (entertaining the mouth). They had previously hosted such events for Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood reported that they were searching for a new venue but would not publicize the location once secured. Sorta hard to have a secret fund raiser. A follow up story by the Tennessean today disclosed that after being turned down by Second Harvest Bank ,which also had previously hosted their events, they are going to have their the fund raiser at The Temple , a Jewish synagogue in Nashville. The story alluded to the Jewish Center backing down due to pressure from Catholics!! While happy to have a venue, Teague, stated he did not know if the venue was donated or rented as the fund raising appeals went out.

However, on Facebook, the Yes on One, the pro life amendment that recently won handily in Tennessee had the following observation.
Having been kicked out of the local Jewish Community Center, Planned Parenthood announced this morning that its Oct. 1 fundraiser has been moved to The Temple, 5015 Harding Road, Nashville. Perhaps not surprising considering that the Temple's 3 rabbis and cantor were each outspoken opponents of pro-life Amendment 1 last fall.
In addition, Temple member Bob Doochin was reported as the sole donor to fund statewide newspaper ads last year comparing pro-life legislators to the Taliban

Thursday, August 13, 2015

TN: Abortionists fear prosecution for operating outside the law....Judge grants injunction when DA's won't sign written pledge not to prosecute

Tennessee is a pro life state, so when the ACLU and Planned Parenthood teamed up to sue the state in 2000 to throw out pro life protections voted into place by a bi partisan legislature, few thought they had any chance. However, four state Supreme Court justices agreed with them. The abortion advocates touted this victory to other states as a way to do an end run around the will of the people.

This disastrous ruling meant that the laws voted into place by our bi partisan legislature could not be enforced. Gone was informed consent, waiting periods and requiring late term abortions must be done in hospital settings. This ruling meant any future pro life law in TN must pass the "strict scrutiny" standard since these justices found a "right to abortion" in our state constitution. Really??

This decision emboldened an abortionist operating two facilities to sue when the Department of Health tried to inspect the centers and demand that he meet the standards of other 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. Could things get any worse?

The dissenting judge from the 2000 decision advised the only remedy for the people was to enact an amendment to the State Constitution, stating that it was silent on the issue of abortion – allowing the people to once again speak through their elected legislators to enact regulations around abortions. This was recapped in my article featured in Bound4Life.
"Amending the State 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 percent plus one (of the number of votes cast for Governor).
It took 14 years of pro-life advocacy for this measure, Amendment 1, to be on the 2014 ballot. Along the way, it was essential for the pro-life issue to be front and center in elections – changing the political landscape dramatically. The battle to pass this state measure received national attention.
The grassroots coalition “Yes on 1” was outspent 3 to 1, and all four major city newspapers endorsed the Planned Parenthood position. Funded by out-of-state pro-abortion interests, the “No on 1” campaign even produced what was named “the most dishonest TV ad of the 2014 election season.”
November 4, 2014 was the moment of truth. The pro-life Amendment 1 relied upon a strong grassroots effort in all 95 counties to win 53% to 47% in Tennessee. "

End of the story and a victory for life? Not so fast says the abortion industry. The Tennessean recaps the following:
"Vanderbilt law professor Tracey George, who also serves as board chair of Planned Parenthood of Middle & East Tennessee and was a coordinator of the Vote No on 1 campaign, filed suit along with seven other voters on Nov. 7, asserting that the state's vote tabulation methods were unconstitutional."

True to form, they judge shopped and filed it before U.S. District Judge Kevin Sharp who has ruled against the state's request to dismiss the lawsuit. Again from the Tennessean...
"Since its passage, lawmakers have enacted two new abortion laws that take effect this week. One requires all abortion clinics that perform 50 or more abortions each year to be regulated as ambulatory surgical care centers. A second requires women seeking an abortion to receive in-person counseling by a physician and then wait 48 hours before undergoing the procedure.A separate lawsuit challenging those new rules was filed by three Tennessee abortion clinics and one obstetrician-gynecologist challenging those laws."

Alas, it is the same abortionist who refused the Dept. of Health to inspect his facility and refused to bring his facilities up to standards as other same day surgery centers is the one of the plaintiffs.

The Judge put on a temporary restraining order in June at the request of the doctor who argued that he needed more time to bring his centers up to standards. In August the same judge said he would lift the restraining order but warned that he may slap it back on later in the week. The Tennessean gives this account.
"Attorneys for the clinic operators said that physicians employed by the clinics were concerned about possible prosecution or the loss of their physician licenses should local district attorneys seek to file criminal charges on the basis they were not complying with the new state law.
The physicians are "not comfortable practicing," said attorney Scott Tift with the law firm Barrett Johnston Martin & Garrison. Stephanie Toti, senior counsel for the New York City-based Center for Reproductive Rights, is also representing the clinics. fear"The concern on the part of these doctors is about the potential to lose their licenses or be charged with a crime," Tift said
The attorney representing the state said that the respective district attorneys in the counties where these two abortion centers are not licensed as ambulatory surgery treatment centers had no plans to prosecute them. However, that was not good enough for Judge Sharp. He sided with the attorneys for the abortion doctors who said that they feared a "rogue" DA might prosecute.

On August 13th, the Judge placed an injunction on the  District Attorneys in Davidson and Sullivan counties where the abortion facilities reside from enforcing the law since they would not sign a pledge not to prosecute. This is the same judge who is hearing the case to throw out the results of the November, 2014 election on Amendment One. This is part of a larger strategy to ask the Judge to set aside laws passed on informed consent, waiting periods, requiring abortionists to have hospital admitting privileges along with  Amendment One.

God used a movie to change my mind

L-R Stephanie, Casey, Courtney

With the release of the undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood, many like me have a testimony of our experiences with this organization. Sharing it may help others who find themselves in a similar situation.

In the fall of 1977, after just seven months of marriage, I found out I was pregnant. I had married my high school boyfriend after one semester of college. I made this decision impulsively and left my home state to move with him to Texas. My father had passed away two years earlier, and I was running from my grief and pain. I was a mess and my marriage was a bigger mess.

I began to contemplate the option of abortion. Abortion had only been legal for a few years and not much was known about it. I had some friends that had abortions, but we had not talked in depth about their experience. When I asked some of my college friends for their input, they all agreed that abortion was the wisest choice in my situation.

I called the nearest abortion clinic near my campus which was affiliated with Planned Parenthood. They instructed me to send in half of the cost of the abortion via cashier’s check and bring the remainder the Saturday morning of my appointment either in cash or with another cashier’s check. I was advised that the deposit was nonrefundable. I guess that was their way of encouraging you not to have second thoughts and back out since you already had put half the money down. My abortion was scheduled for early Saturday morning, a busy day for abortions there as they catered to the college students.

I was taking college classes and working part time at a local health food store with an older woman who was a Jehovah’s Witness. I knew she took her faith seriously and was very spiritual. I had not sought the opinion of anyone as spiritual as her. When I casually asked her what she thought God would think of abortion, she did not hesitate. He thinks it is murder, she answered.

I drove home with her words haunting me and as I turned on the car radio, a song seemed to speak to me as well. Shaking it off, I went home, made dinner, and sat down on my couch to distract myself with a movie on TV. Does anyone think God can use media to reach out to you? The made for TV movie was called Having Babies! This movie followed the lives of different pregnant women and their life circumstances. I related to one couple in particular as their situation closely paralleled mine. Could I be a mother, college student and hold down a job? Could I??

With the close of the movie, I went to bed and set my alarm for my early morning abortion appointment. After all, I had already sent them quite a bit of money. My decision was made….. wasn’t it? During the night, God changed my heart and mind. When the alarm sounded the next morning, I rolled over and turned it off and went back to sleep.

The following May I gave birth to the first of my two daughters. And I thank Him. For eternity, I will thank Him. He made a way and gave me an unexpected grace to be a young mom. Now it's the summer of 2015 and I am seeing "movies" on TV and the internet that are making me relive what I experienced in that Fall of 1977. I am thankful that God used media to speak to me and I am thankful to the woman I worked with who spoke truth to me without hesitation. 

I pray that God is using these videos released by The Center for Medical Progress to change hearts and minds of women just like He used that simple movie for me.

My oldest daughter Casey grew up to be a wonderful woman, wife and mother of four. She has previously served in the mission fields of Argentina and Minsk Belarus and currently works as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor. 

When I gave my testimony in public, my youngest daughter remarked that I would have aborted her very best friend. I shudder to think of the generational impact that impulsive decision would have made and I again give God all the praise for his mercy and grace.

Generations of Life

Posted with permission from Stephanie Finch
Stephanie Finch is a Licensed Professional Counselor working in a private practice in Hendersonville, TN. She specializes in working with children, teens, adults in areas of depression, anxiety, adjustment struggles, marriage counseling, teen and women’s issues. She is married to Tim and proud grandmother of 8. They worship at Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, TN and Stephanie is on the board of Decisions, Choices and Options, an educational program to teens about the impact of teen pregnancy.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Tennessee's Brittany Maynard

John Jay Hooker is a familiar name in the state of Tennessee. Until recently he had been described in a tongue and cheek manner as a political gadfly and perennial candidate.   A gifted orator, born to a prominent family,  Hooker’s  verbiage  often got him in trouble as in 2010 when he had his law license suspended for thirty days  and was publicly censored for filing frivolous law suits and making statements regarding judges with “reckless disregard of their truth or falsity.”  Hooker is known for championing his causes with passion and flamboyance. Now in his eighties and diagnosed with a terminal form of cancer, he is now being revered as Tennessee’s version of Brittany Maynard as he seeks to bring physician assisted suicide to his home state.

Tennessee, along with 45 other states, outlaws physician assisted suicide. This should not to be confused a patient’s right to decline treatments or use living wills to stipulate what measures they want used to keep them alive. It also does not prohibit the use of palliative care which has the purpose of relieving pain until natural death occurs. Physician assisted suicide would allow a doctor, upon request, to give a prescription for a lethal drug to end the life of the patient.  They alleviate pain by killing the patient.

A bill was introduced in the TN General Assembly earlier in the year by Democrats as a courtesy to Hooker  and met with a lukewarm but polite response.  It promptly was assigned to a summer study committee, a tactic used to gently end discussion.   Hooker, who never gently ends any discussion, brought a lawsuit against the state arguing that the law forbidding assisted suicide was unconstitutional, citing the privacy clause in the state constitution attempting to accomplish by judicial fiat what could not get done in the legislative body answerable to the people. That tactic has been used successfully before by the ACLU and Planned Parenthood to wipe out restrictions around legalized abortions passed by the state legislature. It took 14 years and amending the state constitution to correct this.

The liberal editorial board of the Tennessean quickly endorsed physician assisted suicide and lionized Hooker as a civil rights champion, not mentioning is earlier ties to the paper. They praised his fiery rhetoric as they endorsed him and his cause.

“At last month’s TedX Nashville conference, Hooker gave a rousing speech concerning his desire to take his life with a physician’s help, and it earned him a standing ovation after he recited at the end Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous words: “Free at last, free at last.”
I sat through the two hour court case heard in Chancery Court on July 10th by Chancellor Carol McCoy. The state’s main argument was straightforward and asked the judge to dismiss the suit since public policy matters should be decided in the General Assembly and not the courts. They pointed out the state’s compelling interest in preserving all life and warned of the eroding protections for the vulnerable population that may be at risk with the overturning of this protective law. The poor, elderly, disabled, and mentally deficient citizens would be endangered as the right to duty quickly morphs into the duty to die.  Allowing assisted suicide would also erode the trust between patient and doctor who would go from healer to executioner.

What astounded me most about the arguments from the lawyers supporting assisted suicide was the amount of time spent on telling emotional stories laced with extreme hyperbole of slow, painful deaths emphasizing the discomfort of family members having to watch loved ones lose their bodily functions and dignity instead of focusing on legal merits of their argument. The hyperbole included a paper from a Vanderbilt professor describing a sick old woman (later identified as his mother) who stored up sleeping pills for her suicide and her distress when she could not find them at the appropriate time. 

When they did mention the merits of the case using the law, they argued that the Constitution should be an evolving and growing document that responds to changing times and poll numbers.  They referenced the growing aging population and said this may be in great demand by this age group!  Or do they mean in demand for this age group! Slip of the tongue, perhaps?? Their other legal argument centered on a privacy clause in the state constitution and that the current language in the law forbidding assisted suicide was vague.

Mr. Hooker seemed larger than life in the courtroom, though not speaking all cameras were trained on his every expression as his lawyer used terms as “rendezvous with death” and spoke of his desire to have dignity and die at home surrounded by loved ones.  While no one is challenging his right to discontinue treatments, the lawyer suggested that having a script for a lethal dosage may give someone like him the courage to go for the experimental trial, knowing they had the backup plan of the lethal meds at the ready.  His lawyer stoked fear insisting not allowing assisted suicide was like murder forcing the patient to endure a slow death.  He referred to the refusal of assisted suicide to being in hell continually tormented by the devil!

I cringed at weak and inappropriate attempts at humor comparing assisted suicide  to people with a fear of flying smuggling small bottles of vodka on the plane to ease their fear. I was most offended when they suggested that we are kinder to dogs that we put down with sorrow in our hearts. So much for the sanctity of human life!

After two hours of testimony, the Chancellor did not give her ruling pending the submission of supplemental briefs from each side. She promised to do her best to expedite her decision noting that time was of the essence for Hooker.

 As Mr. Hooker exited the courtroom, he was surrounded by reporters and cameras. He stopped to give a statement that was run on many media outlets.  Also exiting the courtroom in wheelchairs or with assistance were those representing Not Dead Yet or other disability rights organizations. They were largely ignored as they silently made their way past the crowd. So  this was the  marketing of the culture of death. I think they understood clearly what this action would mean for them. Their lives would be seen as less valuable and a burden on society. They understood the subtle way that they would be made to feel that society would be better if they would embrace this route.

 What I heard in that courtroom was  all about control. I want to decide how and when I die. As the  old Frank Sinatra song  says ...I did it my way!  God's way was not a concern.   I don't know Mr. Hooker's spiritual condition, but the  arguments on his behalf had a noticeable absence of any mention of prayer, faith,  peace, or eternal hope. It also was absent any recognized value to caring for the weak and vulnerable by caregivers or society. It reminds us that when God is not revered as the Author and Creator of life, the very sanctity of human life becomes dependent on polling numbers and we are all diminished.

As someone who lost a spouse to a malignant brain tumor  (the same tumor that Brittany Maynard suffered from) and  married to a man who also lost his first wife to the very  same brain tumor, we can attest that you can die a natural death, surrounded by loved ones with the assistance of palliative care. Caring for them was not a burden, but an honor and privilege that we cherish. Every day, hour and minute they lived was  precious to us.  They were the true heroes. They had death with dignity.

Pix: Nashville Public Radio WPLN

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Pro-life blog buzz 6-26-15

Cross posted at Jill
by Susie Allen, host of the blog, Pro-Life in TN, and Kelli

A parting note from Susie:

I have co-authored the Blog Buzz (formerly called Proliferations) for five years. Time flies when you are having fun. I can think of no better movement to dedicate your life to than protecting the sanctity of all human life. Congratulations to Jill as she starts on a new venture in a new season of her life. I have learned so much from contributing to this blog and hope the readers will look for ways they too can take a stand for life in their own sphere of influence. As Jill did not seek the spotlight years ago, she did not shrink from the cause when it came to her. Look what she has done! We all have a sphere of influence and a talent. How exciting to see what we can do when we use our God-given talents. You may surprise yourself. Join the cause and press on.

For Life,
Susie Allen

Pro-Life Action League’s vigilance found that National Health Care, an abortion facility in Peoria, Illinois, has been sold to Whole Woman’s Health, a Texas abortion chain:
In a letter sent to the IDPH on May 27, NHC administrator Margaret Van Duyn says, referring to Whole Woman’s, “They provide the same quality of care that we do” — which is to say, the same low-quality care. Take, for example, the Whole Woman’s abortion facility in Austin, from which three (3) women were transported by ambulance during a one-month period in 2012. What’s more, as documented by our friends at, the Whole Woman’s Austin andMcAllen facilities were also fined a total of $40,000 in 2011 for illegal disposal of the remains of aborted children, as well as private medical records.

ProLifeBlogs shares a post from Lake County Right to Life regarding the newest venture of Women on Waves, an abortion advocacy group specializing in bringing abortion to women in countries where it is banned. Their latest plan: Using a drone to drop abortion pills in Poland. No doctor visit, not even a webcam consultation. Just RU-486 from the sky, cross your fingers, and hope that nothing goes wrong when taking chemical abortifacients without medical supervision. The pills are supposed to be suitable only for pregnancies up to nine weeks. What could possibly go wrong?

Saynsumthn’s Blog meticulously documents the heavy involvement of eugenics proponent Jonathan Gruber in the crafting of Obamacare – despite the fact that so many in the Obama Administration acted as if they’d barely heard of him. He pocketed $400k for his consultations with the administration. What is significant is that Gruber, as part of his eugenic views, supports abortion as a means to achieve his goal of saving welfare money by eliminating more children of color. Perhaps #BlackLivesMatter to this administration only when it’s politically expedient?

Wesley J. Smith believes that there is a media effort underway “to make suicide more palatable and normalized – at least for some categories of people.” The new AP Stylebook used by journalists recommends avoidance of the term “committed suicide” unless a direct authority is being quoted. Why? Smith opines: 
My theory – call it Smith on media bias – is that advocates convinced AP that using the word “committed” – even though accurate, as it means to intentionally perform an act – implied a negative judgment about that act. And that conflicts with the drive to make at least some suicides more palatable generally – or to put it the other way around – that not all suicides are bad or wrong. In short, this is a political act – not the first by AP in this regard, heck, not even the second – and it won’t be the last.

Americans United for Life has just released a must-read, comprehensive report showing how Planned Parenthood has built a lucrative business model from ending human lives – and we, the taxpayers, are helping them to do so with our tax dollars. “The New Leviathan” details how the billion-dollar abortion profiteer has increased its profits and market share, even as fewer U.S. women seek abortions:
Unlike the national trend observed by the Associated Press last week, the Centers for Disease Control, and everywhere else that abortions are on the decline, at Planned Parenthood abortion sales are up – meanwhile its overall patients and other services are down. This is as a result of a move to create abortion mega-centers to mass-produce abortions at an even deadlier rate.

[Photos via (from Women on Waves); Americans United for Life]

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Governor Haslam signs three pro life bills into law showcasing grassroots victory over abortion industry $$$

Tennesseans scored a huge victory last November when they voted to change the state constitution to correct an egregious decision by the state Supreme Court in September of 2000 that found a right to abortion in our state constitution, thus negating the  enforcement of bills previously  passed  to regulate abortion.

Despite being outspent 4-1 by the abortion industry and their allies from out of state, the tenacity of the grassroots paid off.  Yesterday, Governor Haslam signed into law three bills that were recently passed by the state legislature mandating informed consent, 48 hour waiting period, and my personal favorite, that all abortion facilities must be inspected and meet the same standards as other same day surgery centers.

What a victory for all Tennesseans.  Other states are certainly taking notice as the abortion industry  has consistently used the courts to accomplish what they could not at the ballot box. It took 15 long years, but the persistence of grassroots that also changed the legislature to a solid pro life majority was also key.

Victory was sweet, but the celebration lasts for a short time and the culture of death is angry. They are now attacking the vulnerable by trying to advance physician assisted suicide in our state.

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