As the Summer Study for Tennessee’s Heartbeat Bill approaches, groups are calling for Christians to join in a Prayer March being held on August 12, the first day of the proceedings.
A promotional video, created by Life Choices of Memphis and joined by Bott Radio Network, Conservative Christians of Tennessee and the Tennessee Pastors Network, calls on Christian families from all across Tennessee to come to the State Capitol at the start of the Heartbeat Bill Summer Study.
The Heartbeat Bill seeks to prohibit the abortion of an unborn child from the point that its heartbeat is detected.
While a version of the Heartbeat Bill passed the State House on March 7 with 65 Ayes, 21 Nays and 7 Present and Not Voting, a more comprehensive version was sent to Summer Study by the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 9.
The Senate sponsor of the Heartbeat Bill, Mark Pody (R-Lebanon), efforts to recall the bill to the Committee were halted on the Senate floor, despite the urging of Tennessee Pastors Network and others.
The Summer Study is scheduled for Monday, August 13 from 1 to 4 p.m. and Wednesday, August 14 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.
The Prayer March will begin at 12 noon on Monday, August 12 and continue until 2 p.m., through the first hour of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Summer Study.
The video introduces, “We’re at a crucial point now regarding how Tennessee handles abortion. A great bill that would save pre-born babies with a heartbeat from abortion by legally establishing their personhood is set for two days of study by the Senate Judiciary Committee, starting August 12.”
Speaking specifically to the latest version of the bill being studied, the video goes on, “Tennessee’s Heartbeat Bill is unique and pro-life legal experts believe this can be the bill to see Roe v. Wade overturned.”
Echoing Governor Lee’s repeated support for the measure, “Governor Lee said he would sign a bill like this, but he never had the chance,” as the video goes on to explain the history of the Heartbeat Bill in the House and Senate this year.
As the states bordering Tennessee have enacted legislation to protect life, there is also concern that Tennessee is becoming a destination state for abortion.
“Now that Tennessee is surrounded by states with tougher abortion laws coming into effect, abortion clinics in Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville are self-reporting in 2018 they saw an increase of patients and abortions, many involving out-of-state women. Tennessee is becoming an abortion-destination state, before laws have actually gone into effect, simply because Tennessee is now perceived as being more friendly to abortion,” said the video.
Citing news reports from each of the three grand divisions about the increase in abortions performed in Tennessee as well as Senator Mike Bell (R-Riceville) and Lt. Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) being “the two individuals most responsible for killing the heartbeat bill in the Senate this year,” Conservative Christians of Tennessee have dubbed the regrettable combination “The McNally-Bell Abortion Surge.”
The call by the groups is for Christian families from all across Tennessee to come to the State Capitol at the beginning of the Summer Study, so, as Senators are studying, Christians will be praying.
Clarifying, “This isn’t a rally. This isn’t a concert. This isn’t a show,” the video adds, “This is Christians calling on Almighty God to perform a work in Tennessee to save innocent life from death by abortion.”
Prayers will also be said to move the hearts of the Senators as they refine the Heartbeat Bill, so that they, too, would pass the legislation.
Organizers of the Prayer March are encouraging participants to arrive at the State Capitol at noon and to wear red as an outward sign of their support.
More information can be found at the Conservative Christians of Tennessee website.
Laura Baigert is a senior reporter at The Tennessee Star.