NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Fifteen House Republicans joined State Representative Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville) as he announced a bill calling for a monument to the unborn for the victims of abortion.
The bill sponsor, Representative Jerry Sexton (R-Bean Station), requested co-sponsor Bill Dunn, who is one of 22 co-sponsors, to fill in for him as he deals with a family medical emergency, which Dunn said is “truly a life or death situation.”
Rep. Dunn related Rep. Sexton’s situation to the topic at hand, saying “What he’s going through right now reminds us how important life is, and how fragile it is, and how devastating it is when a life is lost.”
House Bill 2381, said Dunn, will have an amendment “that will call for establishing a memorial at the Capitol for the victims of abortion.”
Dunn, pointing out two monuments currently on either side of the Capitol grounds, one to the victims of slavery and the other to the victims of the holocaust, reflected “Both of these monuments that are already here recognize that atrocities occurred because human beings were treated as less than human. In both cases, the vulnerable and defenseless were subjected to the will of the powerful.”
The two existing monuments both include statements to serve as reminders for future generations to not repeat the past. The Maafa, or African Holocaust memorial, erected in 1999, concludes that those who lost their lives deserve to be remembered, “so that no atrocity like it occurs again in human history,” and the Jewish holocaust monument calls for all generations to remember “so that a holocaust shall never again occur.”
Making the connection to the new monument, Dunn said, “The taking of the life of a baby in the womb is related to this brand of inhumanity.”
“While the baby can be seen as the obvious victim,” Dunn recognized the other victims, “The women coerced into abortion, the fathers who can’t protect their unborn child, the brothers and sisters who lose a sibling, and society as a whole who becomes coarsened because life is cheapened,” for whom the memorial will honor.
Dunn introduced long-time pro-life activist, Myra Simons, who served as Board President of the Yes on 1 campaign. Yes on 1 referred to the amendment to the Tennessee Constitution on the ballot in November 2014 which empowers the state legislature to enact, amend or repeal state statutes regarding abortion. Amendment 1 passed with more than 52 percent of the vote.
Simons spoke passionately about her experiences from being active in pro-life work for so many years, “I learned so much about not only what happens to a precious unborn child during an abortion; but the one thing that has really come home to me is the terrible pain that women are suffering from their misguided decision of having an abortion and also the pain of the men after encouraging and paying for these women to have an abortion.”
After relaying the story of another woman she had read about who had undergone an abortion procedure, Simons confessed that she is also one of those women who had had an abortion when she was in her mid-twenties.
Simons called it a lie that “abortion is a quick 15 minute procedure and you get on with your life,” explaining, “They do not tell you the psychological effects of this ‘simple’ procedure.” Speaking from experience, Simons added, “It is anything but simple, as it has a profound effect on who you are.”
Calling the establishment of the memorial for the thousands of children lost to abortion “the right thing to do,” Simons said it would be key to starting the healing process of their mothers and fathers.
The monument would be funded by non-state sources and placed on the Capitol grounds once completed.
The full text of Rep. Dunn’s remarks can be read here:
Representative Jerry Sexton is the sponsor of this bill, but right now, he’s dealing with a family medical emergency. And it truly is a life or death situation. And so he has asked for me, I’m State Representative Bill Dunn from Knoxville, Tennessee, he’s asked me to fill in for him.
What he’s going through right now reminds us how important life is and how fragile it is and how devastating it is when a life is lost, so I think it’s appropriate for what we’re doing here today.
Today we’re here to talk about House Bill 2381 and there will be an amendment to this bill coming that will call for establishing a memorial at the capitol for the victims of abortion. For the victims of abortion.
The monument will be paid for with private funds.
Currently, on the capitol grounds, there’s a monument to the victims of slavery and it’s located right over where those people are, so afterwards you might want to go over right beyond the statue, there’s a monument to the victim of slavery. On this side, where the cedar trees are, there’s a monument to the victims of the holocaust.
Both of these monuments that are already here recognize that atrocities occurred because human beings were treated as less than human. In both cases, the vulnerable and defenseless were subjected to the will of the powerful.
The taking of the life of a baby in the womb is related to this brand of inhumanity.
While the baby can be seen as the obvious victim, this memorial will also be for other victims: the women coerced into abortion, the fathers who can’t protect their unborn child, the brothers and sisters who lose a sibling, and society as a whole who becomes coarsened because life is cheapened.
And I have here with me today Myra Simons.
The full text of Myra Simons remarks can be read here:
When Representative Dunn asked me to share some things with you today about the issue with which we are dealing today, I know that it is something that affects thousands of people not just across our country, but right here in our own state of TN and yes, right here at our backdoor in Nashville and that is, the issue of abortion. When we talk about the sanctity of human life, abortion, ABORTION is the thing that has hurts the largest number of people and it’s the thing that tends to bring out the most emotion in people.
Having been active in pro-life work for many years now, I learned so much about not only what happens to a precious unborn child during an abortion; but the one thing that has really come home to me is the terrible pain that women are suffering from their misguided decision of having an abortion and also the pain of the men after encouraging and paying for these women to have an abortion. I’ve heard testimony after testimony of lives devastated from this one decision on one particular day in their life. One decision, one procedure on one day changed forever WHO THEY ARE!
I read an article recently that gave a very enlightening testimony of a young woman named Rita Sigler. Rita helped to found the National Memorial for the Unborn in Chattanooga, TN after she herself had experienced an abortion procedure. Her story is yet one example of what post-abortive women are experiencing. She described her experience like this:
“Sometimes you can wear the mask for a long time – years, even. For me, it was 13 years to be exact. Thirteen long years of trying to hold the beach ball under the water. What if it popped up? What If people knew? What if my church found out? My arms ached not only from holding that beach ball down, but also for wanting to hold my missing baby. But I was determined to keep it down there. Until the day God drained the pool.
I had no place to run and hide. God spoke just 7 words to me: “You have never grieved for that child. With that, He tore down the walls I had built up around my hardened heart, and the dam literally broke within me. I wailed for hours and felt all the things that I had not allowed myself to feel all these many years.”
And thus Rita’s story is repeated with thousands of women all over the country every day. 90% of women who have had an abortion mourn the loss of their child.
Folks, I am here today to tell you that I also AM ONE OF THOSE WOMEN! But….I thought I was different. I was brought up in a wonderful Christian home with loving parents who taught me right from wrong. I graduated from a Christian high school and ultimately, a fine Christian university. But…as soon as I came out of college, I fell and a deep seated rebellion took hold of me..one that took years for me to recover from.
It was during this terrible time in my life, a time that I was extremely vulnerable that I found myself unmarried and pregnant…something totally foreign to the way I was brought up.
I had heard that abortion is a quick 15 minute procedure and you get on with your life. Folks, that is a lie! You don’t just get on with your life. They do not tell you the psychological effects of this “simple” procedure. It is anything but simple as it has a profound affect on who you are!
Mark Earley with Chuck Colson’s Prison Fellowship Ministry said this, “The heart-wrenching testimonies of post-abortive women across our country bears witness to the fact that abortion is not, as the abortion lobby claims, something women will just “get over” in a week or two.
It is evidence that we know inherently that we are made in the image of the God who is the True Giver of Life.
Mr. Earley goes on to say….”When we do violence to that image—when we destroy life instead of nurturing it—it has a profound effect on our emotions, our psyche, and our souls, and yes, even our nation.
The truth is that if women walk into an abortion clinic, they may still be feeling the agony over taking their baby’s life—even on their deathbed a half century later.”
We must make sure young women know the truth:
that abortion does indeed take a human life;
that there are alternatives to abortion;
and that THEY ARE NOT ALONE!!
and they need to know that there are people who will help them through a difficult, unplanned pregnancy.
Folks, the tremendous pain that these victims; the millions of babies whose lives were snuffed out before birth and their mothers and fathers, their pain must be recognized for what it is, real and devastating.
Establishing a Memorial for the Victims of Abortion would be key to starting the healing process for many, many men and women. Just the recognition that they are valued will go a long way in helping these hurting men and women to know we understand what they have gone through and for them to know that there are people who do indeed care. And also to remember the babies whose lives are forever gone because of their mother’s one mis-guided decision on that one ill-fated day. Establishing this memorial is just the right thing to do.
Tim Minnery of Focus on the Family said it this way, “Doing what is right is something that all of us should take to heart, particularly because we are living in a society whose moral underpinnings are being eroded by people who are so ready to do the wrong thing.”
For the memory of the thousands of children lost to abortion and for the healing of their mothers and fathers, this Memorial must be established.