Tennessee Right to Life Urges Lawmakers to Vote Against Bills Introducing ‘Exceptions’ to Human Life Protection Act

Tennessee Right to Life is calling upon state lawmakers to vote against legislation that would rewrite the Human Life Protection Act by introducing “exceptions” which, the group says, would make the law “unenforceable.”

Senate Bill 745/House Bill 883 is slated to be heard in the state Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, February 28. Its companion bill in the state House will be heard in that chamber’s Health Committee Wednesday, March 1.

“In the words of Constitutional expert Paul Linton, this legislation “entirely rewrites state law (Human Life Protection Act) and, in doing so, creates an abortion law that would be, in practice, if not in principle, unenforceable,” the pro-life organization states on its web page detailing its “legislative alerts.”

“We simply cannot support efforts to whittle away at our current protections,” Tennessee Right to Life asserts in its statement on HB883, adding that with the proposed “adjusted definitions,” the legislation “is unacceptable to the pro-life position.”

The organization notes the bill is being referred to as the “Life of the Mother, Post Dobbs Cleanup Act,” and is being presented as “a clarification that Tennessee law has an exception for the life of the mother, including treatment for ectopic pregnancy, and miscarriage,” the pro-life organization states.

“While well-intentioned, in reality this bill, if enacted, would offer cover for those who abort children in our state and would delete large sections of pro-life measures in Tennessee code,” the group says.

OB/GYN Dr. Christina Francis,  CEO-elect of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) told The Star News Network in September one of the falsehoods spread by the abortion lobby and its allies in the establishment medical organizations is that women will not be able to obtain treatment for ectopic pregnancies or miscarriages in states, such as Tennessee, that have outlawed most abortions.

“Which, of course, is not true,” Francis said. “All you have to do is look at the state laws and look at the language in the state laws that are on the books to see that they don’t outlaw those kinds of treatments.”

“But, also, look to the practices of those of us who have practiced medicine our entire careers, or practices of hospitals that did not allow abortion, such as Catholic hospital systems, where we’ve always been able to treat those conditions,” Francis continued:

And what about when a woman’s life is in danger because of a pregnancy complication? While that may be termed by some an “abortion,” one, it’s allowed by state laws that are very clear about ending a pregnancy early, prematurely separating mom and baby in situations where the mom’s life is in danger, but also, again, looking to our everyday practice, you know, as an OB hospitalist, I am managing high risk OB patients, I am taking care of those rare situations where mom’s life is in danger because of a pregnancy complication. And in those circumstances, I, as well as every other competent physician knows, that’s not the same as an elective abortion.

Francis said she and other trained OB/GYN’s can still intervene in these emergencies, noting that “well-trained OBs know how to identify signs that a woman is becoming sick before she becomes critically ill so that we can intervene before.”

“That’s the other piece of misinformation that we’re hearing,” Francis added, “that women have to be going to the ICU before you can intervene – which is not true at all.”

“That’s medical malpractice, if physicians are waiting until that point to try to intervene,” she asserted.

“HB883 takes a 2-page law (HLPA) and turns it into a 9-page exception,”  Tennessee Right to Life continues. “It seeks to take Tennessee from a state that no longer allows unborn children to be aborted (with a provision for the life of the mother) to a state where our protections for unborn children are ‘unenforceable.’”

The group details the supposed “cleanup” bill, which would allow:

  1. Large portions of pro-life laws currently on the books to be removed.
  2. Physicians to abort unborn children if they believe there is a “lethal fetal anomaly” or if they think a baby has a condition that is “incompatible with life.” The definitions of these circumstances are broad and left up to the discretion of the physician alone.
  3. Physicians who are accused of an illegal abortion to go before a state medical board to pre-determine whether or not the law has been violated.
  4. Physicians to end the life of a baby if they claim it is to PREVENT or treat a medical emergency. So, a baby could be aborted to prevent a condition that may never happen. In Linton’s opinion, “that wording alone would effectively nullify the prohibition of abortion in Tennessee.”

Tennessee Right to Life states some so-called “pro-life” lawmakers support HB883 because “they have been told it will only clarify for those times when the life of the mother is in jeopardy.”

“However, the truth is that if passed, this language would create large loopholes for those who abort children in our state,” the group asserts.

“Pro-life Rep. Bryan Terry was the only member to speak out against the bill and attempt to address the problems,” the alert continues. “He was the only no vote.”

The organization lists those lawmakers on the Population Health Subcommittee who voted in favor of the bill:

Representative Esther Helton-Haynes (R-East Ridge)

Representative Iris Rudder (R-Winchester)

Representative Andrew Farmer (R-Sevierville)

Representative Ron Travis (R-Dayton)

Representative Sabi Kumar (R-Springfield)

Representative Michele Carringer (R-Knoxville) Chair of the committee

Representative John Ray Clemmons (D-Nashville)

Representative Caleb Hemmer (D-Nashville)

Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville)

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Susan Berry, PhD is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Infant” by Victoria Akvarel.


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2 Thoughts to “Tennessee Right to Life Urges Lawmakers to Vote Against Bills Introducing ‘Exceptions’ to Human Life Protection Act”

  1. Joe Blow

    It was so, so easy for the GOP legislators to pass a strong abortion bill to be triggered IF and when Row vs Wade was overturned. But then the unthinkable happened. Row vs Wade WAS overturned.

    But, as usual, the conservative imposters are now wanting to give in to the abortion lobby. Some things never seem to change in Tennessee state politics.

  2. Tim Price

    Pro abortion forces twist the truth and are not to be trusted. Sad so many Republicans are on their bandwagon.