Prominent pro-abortion advocates tend to paint all women with a broad brush as pro-abortion. Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood, recently mused in a CNN op-ed: “I looked out at the newly elected House of Representatives — the most female, most diverse, and most strongly pro-reproductive health majority in the House in our country’s most recent history.” But some Tennessee legislators are a testament to the reality that pro-life female lawmakers not only exist, but are leading the charge in the defense of the preborn in many states and nationwide. Wednesday in the Tennessee legislature, pro-life female legislators introduced a proposal to restore legal protection to preborn babies. If enacted, the law is designed to be effective immediately upon reversal of or amendment to Roe v. Wade.
— TN Right to Life (@tnrighttolife) February 13, 2019
The legislation, called the Human Life Protection Act, is immune to constitutional challenge. Known as a “trigger law,” it restores the state’s abortion law to what it was before Roe v. Wade, prohibiting abortion except to save the life of the mother. It is unenforceable unless Roe is reversed. These types of laws have been successful in other states; at least nine other states have similar, bans that go into effect if the Supreme Court decision is overturned, according to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute.
Senators Dolores Gresham and Susan Lynn spoke at a press conference to explain the bill’s aims and expressed optimism that Roe might be overturned soon. “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 proactive to ensure that Tennessee continues to lead the way to the fullest possible protection for human life,” the Herald Chronicle reports Gresham saying.
Senator Lynn cited the recent New York law, one of the most radical in the country as it allows for abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy for any reason, even up to the moment of birth. “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,” she said.
Stacy Dunn, vice-president of Tennessee Right to life, weighed in on the advances in technology that continue to demonstrate the humanity of the preborn and the necessity of protecting them. “Medical technology and understanding have come so far in the past decades since Roe was decided, including the development of ultrasound imagery. Such images make clear the humanity of unborn boys and girls and it’s our responsibility to do everything constitutionally possible to protect them,” said Dunn.
The enactment of the Human Life Protection Act would come on the heels of recent significant pro-life victories in Tennessee. Very notably in 2014, Tennessee passed Amendment 1, which states that the state constitution contains no right to abortion. The amendment withstood a legal challenge in 2018.
“I think this bill gives hope to Tennesseans. Tennessee is a pro-life state,” said Rep. Lynn.
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