In a discussion on Thursday morning’s Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – host Steve Gill talked exclusively with Robin Smith who is a former cardiac nurse and current State Representative. Smith chatted with long time friend and host Gill about her view on the Heartbeat Bill.
Towards the end of the segment, Gill and Smith touched upon the recent the odd disposition of some Bishops in regards to the Heartbeat Bill and the Tennessee Right for Life group. Smith ended the show by giving Gill a visual version of what happened to Glen Casada last week at the Tennessee Capitol when the Speaker was assaulted by now two time offender, Justin Jones.
Gill: State Representative Robin Smith former Republican party chairman in Tennessee and legislator from down in the Chattanooga area. She’s on our news makers line with us right now. Robin good to have you with us.
Smith: Good morning, how are you this morning?
Gill: Good and you guys are going to go into session here in about an hour and a half. And this is one of the first bills that’s going to come up today.
Smith: It is. The Heartbeat Bill’s here. And it’s an interesting time. I was listening to you as I was driving in and heard your discussion about the protests and the violence and we don’t need to miss the connection between when people have a lack of value and a lack of disrespect for each other there’s really no respect for life. And we’re seeing this transcend just not the abortion bill. We’re seeing this when hot coffee is thrown at the Speaker. We’re seeing this where people are being inappropriate in their conduct. So mutual respect doesn’t just transcend, doesn’t just impact the womb. But just this morning this bill is really important. And it’s really logical Steve and I think the listeners will agree. I’m an old cardiac, heart transplant nurse and when I would attend to a patient in a high accueil level the first thing I would do is look at their heart rate on them and their heart rhythm on the monitor particularly if they happened to be in distress. And one of the key metrics as you all know, if someone is absent a heartbeat that’s part of pronouncing them dead. So it’s very logical that the determination of life should begin at accepting the heartbeat. So this is a very logical thing that we really, I’m a little stunned to hear that they’re continuing to be a debate about this. But it all revolves someone’s misinterpretation of freedom to liberty to be more about life than and the fact that they’re so disrespectful of life.
Gill: And well you have some of the Democrats that are arguing against this and saying that, “It will force women to bare, birth babies that are the product of rape or incest.” It’s like you have the option very early in the process still under the law. This will protect the child once there is a heartbeat.
State Rep. Smith concurred with Gill and reiterated that the heartbeat comes within after the first six to eight weeks and admitted that it is soon but there are still provision for the life of the mother. She added that these instances are well known as a very rare cases. She insisted that there needs to be an understanding that this is a life and that there are plenty of options and avenues in birth control and pre-natal care that women can utilize. Smith was upset by societies misrepresentation of abortion being excused as a type of birth control and as a reproductive absolute right. She was concerned that this is a reflection of the way our culture is headed and included that politics are downstream of this.
Smith: And so what we’re seeing in this debate is just a reflection of the hearts of some. And we need to make sure and prioritize that the true issue is here, is that child a person. And yes the argument is, yes that child is a person.
Gill: Well and certainly once the child is born there’s no aspect of protecting the mother’s life by killing the born baby. And yet that’s what they’re wanting to pursue in Virginia and other locations as they move this radical approach further and further down the path. State Representative Robin Smith with us talking about the Heartbeat Bill that’s going to come up for a vote in the House. In the Senate, where is it moving in forward in the Senate? I think they’ve been waiting on the Senate side to see what happens on the House side.
Smith: Well and again I’m not sure. I can’t speak for their particular body. I know that they’re in debate. I have not been tuned in to some of their back and forth dialogue. But what I do know is whether it’s House district twenty-six which is shared by Tennessee Senator Bo Watson is the same constituency. And Tennesseans’ over the course of decades have been very clear, that abortion is not a constitutional right. Abortion is murder. And we’re seeing whether it’s this particular bill, previous elections, previous amendments, Tennesseans’ have spoken very clearly that they choose to stand by the lives of the unborn that’s carried innocently in the womb of a mother. And so I can’t imagine that our Senate colleagues would not feel the pressure to vote the constituent wishes of the district in those voices in Tennessee. And we do forget, despite the fact that on a national level the Democrats have really gone off the radical end. There remain a lot of conservative independents in this state that would be very supportive of this notion that life begins with the heartbeat in the womb.
Gill: Well and Governor Bill Lee has expressed his support for the legislation as well. Two groups that the Democrats are making big hay out of that are opposing this legislation. A group of Catholic Bishops that you would expect to be pro-life. And Tennessee Right to Life that you would expect to be pro-life. What’s up with these groups?
Smith commented that with regards to the bishops that she had just watched the Methodist conference and that she saw it as ironic that some of their eldest and highest serving clergy were pushing for the plan within the Methodist church and embracing LGBT clergy, transgender sanctions, and alternative marriages. She added that scripture seems to be lost to these groups and that the clergy needs to go back and revisit the scriptures. Smith advised that whether one looks at Psalms, Jeremiah , or the New Testament that life is precious and all people are created in the image of Jesus Christ, the Father and the Holy Spirit. “And so we have to protect life,” she concluded.
Gill: Worshiping a little bit at the altar of culture and political correctness rather than at the alter at their church and reading the Bible.
Smith: That’s it. And I can’t speak to the Tennessee Right to Life but my experience is and Steve you and I go way back to you know, gosh, I don’t want to call us old but I would call us seasoned.
Gill: Yeah, well seasoned. (Gill laughs) Which explains the salt and pepper in my hair.
Smith: I’m decidedly blonde. But the issue about Tennessee Right to Life, and they’re a political action committee. And they’ve become relevant based on things that they win and do. And this is not their bill. They have chosen to distance themselves and even come out and oppose this bill because they view this as a litigious, kind of a pitfall in the courts. And one of the things that I’ve learned in politics is, it’s always the right time to do the right thing. And sometimes political action committees, they exist to lift up their own agenda.
Gill: Well not that I would be cynical Robin, but sometimes these political action groups they raise more money when they lose than win they win.
Smith: We’re not seeing that at the southern border or anything are we? No that never happens.
Gill: Hey let me ask you one other quick question. Were you in the vicinity when the, we’ve called it the BrewHaHa, we’ve called it the Chaos at the Capitol. The Frothy Monkey Gate. Were you around when the speaker was attacked along with Deborah Moody with this thrown coffee cup?
Smith: I was. Matter of fact, and I’ll try and make this as short as possible. People can go to my Facebook page and see the first-hand account.
Gill: By the way, quick question. Because I haven’t seen a picture of the cup. Where their sugar packets taped to it that would make it an assault cup?
Smith: (Burst of laughter) No, there weren’t
Gill: Ok. So it’s just a standard cup.
Smith reflected about her experience last week when House Speaker, Glen Casada was assaulted by now two time offender Justin Jones with a coffee cup. She described how she and another colleague were assisting an ill feeling member over to Cordell Hull and dodged the protesters and crowd to duck into an available elevator. She stressed that this elevator was not a VIP elevator but one simply used by all members and people. Smith described Justin Jones as actually throwing the cup with the intention to hit the Speaker in the head.
Listen to the full segment here:
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