A new pro-life bill claims that constitutionally-protected life begins at conception, banning all abortions except in life-threatening emergencies. Dubbed the “Rule of Law Life Act,” the bill stated that the Fourteenth Amendment extends the right to life to the unborn, the legal precedents in existence allowing abortion derogate the Constitution,
The bill expands upon the previous heartbeat bill, signed into law last year and is currently being debated in the courts. It asserts that established and accepted science supports the notion of human life beginning at conception. Additionally, the bill explicitly prohibits punishing mothers for abortions committed. Only physicians who violate the proposed laws would be subject to punishments awarded for Class C felonies or Class A misdemeanors, as well as the suspension or revocation of their healthcare license.
“Abortion terminates the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being,” stated the bill.
State Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) was the first to introduce the legislation. On Tuesday, it received a companion bill in the House from State Representative Dan Howell (R-Cleveland).
A lengthy 25-page preamble preceded the proposed law, in which arguments are presented in the form of background. It cited the testimonies from the 2019 Senate Judiciary Committee review of previous heartbeat bills proposed by Pody and previous State Representative Micah Van Huss (R-Jonesborough).
The selection of summarized testimonies presented concerned historical understandings of common law, such as the argument made by previous Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story that the people and states have certain powers awarded by the Ninth Amendment to specify and secure common law rights. The preamble also mentioned many remarks issued by Sir William Blackstone, Abraham Lincoln, and from the opinions of several court rulings including Schick v. United States.
Following its arguments, the legislation concluded that both Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey failed to adhere to the proper understanding of common law as enshrined in the Constitution.
Howell deferred questions from The Tennessee Star to Pody; the senator didn’t respond with comment by press time.
The bill was passed on first consideration in the Senate on Monday.
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