Bill Lee Will Submit Pro-Life Legislation Written with a Court Challenge in Mind


Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee and other officials announced Thursday they will submit pro-life legislation to the Tennessee General Assembly durable enough to survive a court challenge and even a left-leaning judge.

The bill would prohibit abortion where a fetal heartbeat exists. If passed into law, the bill would require mothers to have ultrasounds before and if they have an abortion. This legislation also says doctors cannot perform abortions if they know the procedure is motivated by the unborn child’s race, sex, health, or disability diagnosis.

This, according to a press release Lee’s office released Thursday.

State Rep. William Lamberth, R-Portland, told The Tennessee Star the bill, if passed, “will have an extraordinarily good chance when the pro-abortion folks try to come after it in the courts.”

This is especially if the unborn child is known to have a heartbeat, Lamberth said.

“A judge may feel like the child does not deserve protecting, and it can still be killed in the womb at say six or eight weeks or whenever they have determined they found a heartbeat. So, if a judge were to strike that down then this bill says ‘OK, judge, you don’t believe that that’s life, but we do. How about 10 weeks? OK, 10 weeks, you don’t believe it’s life. How about 12 weeks? How about 16? How about 18? How about 20?’” Lamberth said.

“That way, if some liberal judge somewhere strikes this down then they will have to go through every single stage of that and hear factual, scientific testimony at each stage in order to make a finding, and that is exactly what we want to happen. I know that child is life in the womb. Scientifically, it is obviously life.”

State Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mount Juliet, told The Star that Lee’s office will finalize the language on the bill within the next few weeks.

In an emailed statement, Laura Bagby, spokeswoman for the Family Action Council of Tennessee, told The Star:

“We appreciate and share the Governor’s passion for the sanctity of life. We also appreciate the offer he has made for us to provide input on the matter, and look forward to working with him and the legislature toward our shared goal of defending life at every stage.”

Tennessee Right to Life also emailed a statement to The Star.

“Tennessee Right to Life is grateful to serve in a pro-life state where voters approved an amendment to the constitution making pro-life protections and policies possible,” said Brian Harris, the organization’s president. “We are also grateful that voters have elected a pro-life governor and majorities in the legislature. We look forward to seeing the proposed language of the omnibus bill,” Harris added.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]|
Background Photo “Bill Lee Heartbeat Bill Announcement” by Bill Lee.

Editors Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the Family Action Council of Tennessee supports the bill. Their actual statement is included above.



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5 Thoughts to “Bill Lee Will Submit Pro-Life Legislation Written with a Court Challenge in Mind”

  1. Robert Roark

    The pro-life movement has been nibbling at abortion for 47 years, trying to find ways to eliminate it. Since it declared a “right” by court fiat, it has become the primary means of birth control. Governor Lee’s bill, like many others, will be challenged to death in court, so it really is not an effective deterrent. He should instead adopt Family Action Council’s bill which is based on the 9th and 14th amendments to the Constitution. This bill may be challenged, but it has a far greater chance of being approved by the courts. The idea that the courts have any jurisdiction in such matters is itself unconstitutional, yet we are stuck with it because of a complacent Congress.

    The claim that pro-life groups refuse to do anything to help after children are born is simply a pro-abortion talking point that is false. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of such organizations around the country that are willing and able to provide such support. They are restricted in what they can do by outdated laws and interference by courts. Abortion is a multi-billion dollar business. Restricting it in any way has powerful financial interests involved and a lot of votes to consider.

    1. Horatio Bunce

      Delzell hates American babies, they shouldn’t be born. He only wants the illegals and refugees, as long as someone else takes care of them, and they get their “free ride from the taxpayers” in any form except charter schools.

      Margaret Sanger’s Negro Project is alive and well. Her contemporaries Bill Gates’ father and the Rockefellers (aka powerful financial interests) are still population control eugenicists. Search NSSM200. They use many methods, murdering the unborn is only one of them.

  2. Cannoneer2

    Is this issue one of the top five concerns that Tennesseans have regarding their state government? No it is not. Besides, this is an issue that will have to be dealt with on the FEDERAL level.

  3. Nonya B

    This is 2020. In this day and age, why would any woman need to get an abortion at all?

    Birth control is free and easily accessible for anyone who wants it. Planned Parenthood made sure of that.

    There are even long-acting drugs a woman can get for free (Planned Parenthood) that will prevent pregnancies for years at a time.

    If you even suspect you may be pregnant, there are over-the-counter drugs you can take (remember your health class from school, pregnancy can take up to a couple of days to occur after sex). Also free from Planned Parenthood.

    In the cases of rape, standard operating procedure is to offer the victim drugs to make sure no pregnancies result from the crime.

    So again I ask: why does anyone even need an abortion anymore?

    “She didn’t know she was pregnant” Really? REALLY? Does she know or even think something happened that can result in a pregnancy?

    “She can’t decide” Well how long does it take to make a decision about something when you are thinking about it? How about a day? A few days? A week? CERTAINLY NOT FOUR MONTHS! Let’s just sit here for 30 seconds and think about that.

    Come on.

    Science tells us what the Democrats are demanding in “full access” to abortion is grotesque and inhumane.

    Abortion is an antiquated and cruel solution in search of a problem and it is time to end the practice of it once and for all.

  4. William R. Delzell

    Let’s call it what it really is: pro-BIRTH; not pro-LIFE. All these anti-abortionists want to do is to force woman to have babies against their will. Once born, these anti-abortionists refuse to do anything for these babies. These anti-abortionists think that is better to let these children die or wind up in the so-called criminal justice system, once they are born. In other words, forcibly have these unwanted children born but to force them to shift for themselves once born! If I were a baby and had to choose between a life of neglect and abuse on the one hand and an abortion on the other hand, I think i MIGHT choose to be aborted and put out of my misery.

    These anti-antibortionists should financially support these babies until adulthood just as they have to financially support their own children. I bet you that would take away these conservatives’s enthusiasm for banning abortions once they had to be the chief financial caregivers!