As the Summer Study of the Tennessee Heartbeat Bill approaches, litigator for the unborn, Andy Schlafly, issued a statement to The Tennessee Star stating his support of the Heartbeat Bill and calling out pretend and phony pro-lifers.
Attorney Andrew “Andy” Schlafly is a member of the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Schlafly recently told The Star about groups interfering with strong pro-life legislation such as the heartbeat bill, “It’s terrible to see such a misuse of the Right To Life name,” when it comes to organizations that should be strongly pro-life.
Tennessee’s Heartbeat Bill seeks to ban abortions when the heartbeat of an unborn child is detected, which, through abdominal ultrasound, is usually not until at least six weeks.
After passing in the Tennessee House, the Senate Judiciary Committee sent the Heartbeat Bill to Summer Study before it could make it to the Senate floor.
Over a nearly three-page statement, Schlafly responded to The Star’s coverage of Tennessee Right To Life’s special counsel testifying against the Heartbeat Bill calling it “ill-advised.”
Schlafly starts by saying that the beating heart is proof of life and that “even most Democrats support a heartbeat bill to protect the unborn child once he or she has a detectable beating heart,” citing that Ohio, Kentucky, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi and Missouri have all passed heartbeat bills in recent years.
Referring to a 2017 Barna poll, Schlafly said 86 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of Independents and 55 percent of Democrats support the heartbeat bill. “Young voters, 18-34, are even more supportive of these abortion bans than older voters are, according to a Hill-HarrisX survey released this year in May,” added Schlafly.
At the federal level, says Schlafly, the heartbeat bill attracted more co-sponsors than any other pro-life bill in the last session.
Indeed, H.R. 490 Heartbeat Protection Act of 2017, sponsored by Rep. Steve King (R-IA-4) had 173 co-sponsors in the U.S. House.
Schlafly says, “There are almost no credible, genuine pro-life activists who oppose the heartbeat bill, which prohibits abortion on any unborn child who has a beating heart.”
“We all receive emails or letters from right-to-life groups trying to raise money by pretending that they are saving unborn children,” Schlafly said before pointing to the reality that “the abortion rate in the United States is currently higher than in any other country in the world, with the exception of communist and former communist countries and Sweden.”
As such, “Nearly a quarter of American women have an abortion by age 45,” adds Schlafly.
Republicans, whose National Party Platform cites the Fifth Amendment and the protection of human life, Schlafly points out, hold a majority in most governing bodies in the United States, and have appointed most of the Supreme Court Justices, and attract voters by campaigning on a pro-life platform. “So why is abortion-on-demand still legal and commonplace nationwide, and in Tennessee?” demands Schlafly.
Answering his own question, Schlafly goes on to say, “Phony pro-lifers want to pretend to be pro-life on election day and in soliciting contributions, while delaying or blocking real pro-life bills behind the scenes.”
Schlafly says that’s what happened recently in Ohio and shouldn’t be allowed to occur again in Tennessee with the Heartbeat Bill SB 1236.
“Ohio Governor John Kasich was elected and reelected by pretending to be pro-life,” relays Schlafly, yet “He vetoed the Ohio Heartbeat Bill in 2016 and again in 2018.”
Behind the scenes, Schlafly reveals, Kasich needed political cover to do so and “That is where Ohio Right to Life stepped in, like several other state ‘right to life’ groups, to provide political cover for phony pro-life politicians.”
Schlafly says, “Ohio Right to Life opposed the Heartbeat Bill in Ohio by making the same fake arguments that Tennessee Right to Life makes now,” with “absurdities such as pretending the time is not right now (it is somehow not the time to protect the unborn?), the Supreme Court is not ready (with a 5-4 GOP majority including two Trump nominees, it needs to get ready), and there will be attorneys’ fees spent in legal defense of the unborn (aren’t the unborn worth it?).”
“Real pro-lifers in Ohio recognized that the arguments against the Heartbeat Bill were a sham.”
After his failed bid at running for President against Donald Trump, the term-limited Kasich headed for a job with the pro-abortion CNN cable news channel.
When pro-life Mike DeWine replaced Kasich, Ohio Right to Life continued to oppose the Heartbeat Bill until it saw that the bill was going to be signed into law.
That’s when, as Schlafly tells it, “Ohio Right to Life flipped and shamelessly took credit for itself at the signing ceremony.”
“Such is the business of fund-raising and the priorities of some “right to life” groups,” Schlafly says.
“Tennessee Right to Life appears to be more of the same,” as it opposes the meaningful Heartbeat Bill that would stop the vast majority of abortions. Instead, Tennessee Right to Life supports meaningless legislation which would not protect the unborn child,” says Schlafly.
He goes on to explain that only about one percent of abortions are performed after 20 weeks, yet this is where right to life groups try to restrict some types of abortion.
Mincing no words, Schlafly says that’s, “Because liberal Republicans like John Kasich can then pretend be pro-life by supporting these laws, while actually doing nothing meaningful for the unborn. He and others can support the phony pro-life laws and still attract pro-abortion donations and appear on liberal television channels.”
Taking issue with statements by Tennessee Right To Life Special Counsel Paul Linton in The Star, which Schlafly says, “are like a chapter from the same playbook” and are notable for what Linton does not say.
Schlafly makes five points:
First, there are nearly a million abortions a year in the United States, even based on the data from pro-abortion groups who are likely to underreport it, and the vast majority of those unborn children would be protected by the Heartbeat Bill.
Second, Linton relies on the ‘trigger’ law in Tennessee if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, but that trigger law never goes into effect if the Supreme Court never directly overrules Roe. Most terrible Supreme Court decisions, such as the Dred Scott decision denying basic rights to African Americans and the Buck v. Bell decision approving forced sterilization of women with supposedly low I.Q., have never been directly overruled by the Court.
Third, Linton was not quoted as saying anything about the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, where the undersigned is a member of its bar and where litigation over the Heartbeat Bill would proceed on appeal in federal court from Tennessee. Thanks to confirmation of six (6) new Trump-nominees to that court, it is now 11-5 GOP-nominated among its active judges, with a solid pro-life majority.
Fourth, Linton, omits how long it takes to get a case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is typically many years. The finest Justice on the Court, Justice Thomas, could retire before the Heartbeat Bill reaches the Supreme Court, unless promptly enacted.
The Supreme Court tends to follow culture rather than lead it. The pro-abortion side generated significant momentum in order to obtain the Roe v. Wade ruling, when its author Justice Blackmun was clipping opinion polls from newspapers. Now is the time to join the growing momentum for the unborn, and GOP politicians should not duck the issue at this pivotal moment.
Finally, the attorneys’ fees argument by Linton is a strawman. In a state that spends $9.5 billion annually on Medicaid, the expenditure of a tiny fraction of that in defending the unborn is proper and desirable. Legal fees on both sides of litigation over the Heartbeat Bill would not total one half of one tenth of one percent of the annual spending on Medicare in Tennessee. The unborn are worth at least that.”
In conclusion, Schlafly says “It is overdue to have a floor vote on the Heartbeat Bill in Tennessee and sent it to the governor for signature.”
Governor Bill Lee has expressed support for the Heartbeat Bill, attending the Tri-Cities Rally for Life in support of the Heartbeat Bill and stating, “I would support any bill that lowers the number of abortions in our state and because I am Pro-Life, I support Pro-Life” reported News Channel 11.
Apparently accepting of the costs associated with a legal challenge, Lee said “The courts will have to decide for themselves whether it’s constitutional or not,” according to News Channel 9.
“As in Ohio and other states, the opposition to the Heartbeat Bill by Tennessee Right to Life and some politicians is self-serving posturing, rather than standing up for the unborn,” concluded Schlafly.
The Heartbeat Bill Summer Study is scheduled for Monday, August 12 from 1 to 4 p.m. and Tuesday, August 13 from 9 a.m. to noon in Senate Hearing I of the Cordell Hull Building. Christians have been urged to come to the Capitol wearing red to pray from noon until 2 p.m. on Monday, August 12, as The Star reported.
Andrew Schlafly’s full statement can be read here.
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Laura Baigert is a senior reporter for The Tennessee Star.