Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi reader, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Tennessee legislators discuss abortion bill in hopes of overturning Roe v Wade

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By (CNA/EWTN)
8/13/2019 (1 week ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

The Tennessee Senate judiciary committee held a second day of hearings Tuesday in a 'summer study' session of a bill regulating abortion.

Highlights

By (CNA/EWTN)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
8/13/2019 (1 week ago)

Published in U.S.


Nashville, Tenn., (CNA) - In its current form, the bill would define an unborn child's viability as starting from conception. Legislators who support the proposal hope it would find sympathetic ears at the US Supreme Court.

House Bill 77 (Senate Bill 1236) was passed by the state House in March, but the Senate judiciary committee voted 5-3, with one abstention, on April 9 to defer it to "summer study."

SB1236 would have banned abortion from the detection of a fetal heartbeat, usually around six weeks of pregnancy. It was opposed by the state's bishops, and Tennessee Right to Life, over concerns it would not stand up to judicial scrutiny.

In choosing to send the bill to summer study, the committee chairman, Sen. Mike Bell said it had "the best of intentions," The Tennesseean reported.

"But to be successful in the fight to protect the unborn, strong conviction is not enough. We must also have the proper legal and constitutional strategy. I can assure you the left will use every legal means at their disposal to ensure abortion remains legal, unrestricted and readily available. We must do likewise to prevent it."

Bell told the bill's sponsor, "I can assure you your bill is not dead."

Sen. Mark Pody, its sponsor, has amended SB1236 effectively to declare viability as beginning from conception: "A pregnancy is presumed to exist and to be viable upon finding the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) using a test that is consistent with standard medical practice." Some court rulings, such as Planned Parenthood v. Casey, have linked governments' ability to regulate abortion with the viability of the child.

The summer study was held Aug. 12-13, and attracted hundreds of spectators on both sides of the problem. The committee is hearing testimony from both pro-life and pro-choice advocates.

Bell suggested during the study Aug. 12 that the committee believes the viability definition "acts as an argument that would resonate with the (Supreme) Court," according to The Tennesseean, and some pro-life advocates suggested the Ninth Amendment's unenumerated rights as a route for overturning Roe v. Wade.

"We want a vehicle to lead the Supreme Court to consider, I hope, overturning or at least chipping away at Roe v. Wade," Sen. Kerry Roberts told CBS News.

But Jim Bopp, an attorney with the National Right to Life Comittee, told the legislators that "To enact legislation we have to live in the real world. We have precedent we cannot avoid with a clever legal argument."

He called the proposed definition of viability "irrational," adding: "It makes us look foolish. And I do not want to look foolish."

During the study Aug. 13, Bell made a point of telling a mother attending the hearing that she needn't take her crying child out, saying that children are welcome in Tennessee.

During the summer study, the committee did not vote on the bill; the measure will not be voted on until the state legislature reconvenes in January 2020.

Earlier in the year, when HB77 remained a 'heartbeat bill', Gov. Bill Lee indicated he would sign it should it reach his desk. His deputy, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, had criticized the bill on the grounds that it would be overturned in the courts.

Though the Tennessee bishops and other pro-life groups opposed the bill, they voiced support for another bill, the Human Life Protection Act, that would automatically ban abortion in the state in the event that Roe were overturned.

Tennessee currently prohibits abortion after the 20th week of pregnancy, and requires a woman to wait 48 hours before receiving an abortion.

In 2014, voters in the state approved an amendment to the state constitution that said, "Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or the funding of an abortion."


Comments


More U.S.

Kentucky again denies abortion clinic's license Watch

Image of

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's administration has reportedly denied a Planned Parenthood clinic in downtown Louisville its license to ... continue reading


Four more abuse allegations against former Cheyenne bishop Watch

Image of

Four new sex abuse allegations have been raised against Emeritus Bishop Joseph Hart, spanning his time both as a priest in Missouri and a ... continue reading



Charleston bishop stepping back to fight accusation Watch

Image of

The bishop of Charleston, South Carolina announced he will reduce his public appearances after being named in a lawsuit filed in New York. ... continue reading


Title X: Protect Life Rule comes in as Planned Parenthood walks out Watch

Image of

 Planned Parenthood will no longer receive Title X funds and has withdrawn from the program entirely. The decision took effect Monday, ... continue reading


After protest, Buffalo diocese denies allegations of former seminarian Watch

Image of

Amid a media firestorm and a small protest Sunday, the Diocese of Buffalo disputed allegations made in a letter published by a recently ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.