NASHVILLE, Tennessee –House Bill 0108, the Heartbeat Report Bill, passed in the Tennessee House of Representatives on Monday by a vote of 74 to 20.
“As amended, the Heartbeat Report Bill would require that the post-abortion report indicate the presence or absence of a heartbeat, would require that the Department of Health include in its annual report, the heartbeat presence statistics, would require that, if used, the ultrasound be offered to the mother of the baby to be killed,” the bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Micah Van Huss (R-Jonesborough) said on the floor of the House prior to the vote.
The companion Senate Bill 0244 was referred to the Judiciary Committee, although it has not been scheduled on the committee calendar.
Van Huss took up the mission more than a year ago to protect the unborn by introducing a Heartbeat Bill, which would prohibit abortion in the state of Tennessee from the point a fetal heartbeat is detected. As previously reported by The Tennessee Star, it became increasingly obvious that the bill in its original form would not pass the House Health Committee and was, therefore, amended.
The amendment requires that “if an ultrasound is performed as part of the examination prior to performing the abortion, the person who performs the ultrasound shall offer the woman the opportunity to learn the results of the ultrasound.” As amended, the bill further requires that “if the woman elects to learn the results of the ultrasound,” then the woman shall be informed “of the presence or absence of a fetal heartbeat.”
From the floor of the House Monday evening, Van Huss began his presentation of the bill, making the case that “this is a good bill” that “will save babies lives,” reporting the encouraging statistic that “according to preborn.org, 80 percent of mothers who see an ultrasound do not go through with an abortion.”
Reflecting on the challenges of passing pro-life legislation and the problem being created in the Supreme Court, Van Huss added “From my time serving as Marine Corps infantry, I learned that a fighting force can only go as far as their leadership enables them.”
Then, indicting the lack of bold leadership in the state, “What the unborn, what Tennesseans, what this legislature so desperately needs, is bold leadership with a step by step plan to abolish abortion in this state,” said Van Huss.
Apparently alluding to what would seem an unlikely opposition by Tennessee Right to Life, Van Huss painted a troubling picture, “We cannot continue to allow the slaughter of the unborn while we hope for better circumstances, and we should not cede this responsibility to the next generation years down the road.“
Van Huss went on to lay out a vision of how abortion could be abolished in the state, “To the folks of Tennessee – we need a governor who shares this mission. To the legislature, my colleagues – we need an Attorney General accountable to us and who will fight for what we pass.”
Making his final plea with a quote from Winston Churchill, “it is the courage to continue that matters,” Van Huss urged his fellow House members to approve the amended bill, “The unborn need your courage, and they need your vote.”
Before discussion on the amended bill was ended through the parliamentary “call for the previous question,” Representative Sherry Jones (D-Nashville) asked Van Huss if he would be willing to sponsor legislation to provide the mother and child all the assistance they need, including insurance, food and housing, making the assertion, “That’s our responsibility.”
The video of HB0108 on the House floor can be found by clicking on HB0108 in the index here .
The full text of Representative Micah Van Huss’s comments presenting the bill can be read here:
Thank you Madam Speaker.
According to preborn.org, 80 percent of mothers who see an ultrasound do not go through with an abortion.
As amended, the Heartbeat Report Bill:
– would require that the post-abortion report indicate the presence or absence of a heartbeat.
– would require that the Department of Health include in its annual report, the heartbeat presence statistics.
– would require that, if used, the ultrasound be offered to the mother of the baby to be killed.
The Heartbeat Report Bill is a good bill. It will save babies lives. Thank you to the many folks who have prayed for and worked for the unborn through the Heartbeat Bill.
I’ve been carrying legislation on behalf of the people of District 6 for five years now. This bill more than any other has opened my eyes to the groups and the methods that the pro-choice movement uses to keep abortion legal in Tennessee.
The question that we all need to answer – should abortion be abolished in this state and is that a cause worth fighting for? Though this particular piece of legislation will not do that, we need to get behind what will.
Without a U.S. Constitutional amendment, there is only one way that we as legislators will abolish abortion. This problem was created in the Supreme Court and will not end anywhere but the Supreme Court. It’s to admit and face that fact.
From my time serving as Marine Corps infantry, I learned that a fighting force can only go as far as their leadership enables them.
What the unborn, what Tennesseans, what this legislature so desperately needs, is bold leadership with a step by step plan to ABOLISH abortion in this state.
We cannot continue to allow the slaughter of the unborn while we hope for better circumstances and we should not cede this responsibility to the next generation years down the road.
To the folks of Tennessee – we need a governor who shares this mission. To the legislature – we need an Attorney General accountable to US and who will fight for what WE pass.
It was Winston Churchill who said, “… it is the courage to continue that matters.” The unborn need your courage, and they need your vote.