Tennessee Right to Life Celebrates 10,000 Babies Saved After Dobbs Ruling

With a graphic emblazoned across a map of Tennessee saying “Good-bye Roe, hello Dobbs,”  Tennessee Right to Life and its county chapters have been celebrating one year since the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Supreme Court ruling that gave individual states the right to make their own abortion laws. 

“More than 10,000 children have been saved from abortion in our state this first year! Let us rejoice and be glad,” the organization said on its website. “Let us make a joyful noise to the Lord and let us re-commit ourselves to keeping Tennessee a safe place for unborn children and their mothers!”

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Tennessee Human Life Protection Act Remains Strong with Narrow Abortion Exception for Saving Life of the Mother

Both the Tennessee Senate and House have now passed the state’s Human Life Protection Act (HLPA), legislation that bans abortion, with only one change – an exception for saving the life of the mother – one that the pro-life community says will continue to protect the right to life of all unborn children in the state.

Gov. Bill Lee (R) is expected to sign the legislation.

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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.

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Tennessee Right to Life Announces 2022 Endorsees

The Tennessee Right to Life announced this week its list of endorsees for this year’s statewide elections. 

“Tennessee Right to Life exists to promote public respect for the dignity of every human life especially those threatened by abortion, infanticide, partial-birth abortion, assisted suicide, or euthanasia,” according to the organization’s website. “TRL advocates the protection of human life without regard to age, handicap, condition or social position.”

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Tennessee Right to Life Endorses Senate Republican Leader Jack Johnson for Re-Election

Tennessee Right to Life endorsed State Senate Republican Leader Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) in his race for re-election on Tuesday.

The organization cited “Johnson’s demonstrated commitment to defending all of Tennessee’s vulnerable unborn children” and said the endorsement is “based on record of shared commitment and dedication to pro-life cause” in a statement.

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Elaine Davis and Janet Testerman are Set to Face Off for Tennessee House District 18, Knox County’s Only Contested Republican Primary

With one-term Representative Eddie Mannis deciding not to run for another term, Tennessee House District 18 is the only one of Knox County’s seven state House districts that will have a contested Republican primary on the August 4 ballot.

Elaine Davis, Former Knox County Commissioner and former Vice Chair of the Knox County Republican Party will face off against Knoxville City Council member-at-large Janet Testerman in the district that lies mainly in West Knoxville and is now considered to be slightly more conservative after the recent redistricting that picked up a small portion of South Knox.

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Bill Declaring Personhood Begins at Conception Passes Tennessee General Assembly

According to a bill passed Thursday by the Tennessee General Assembly, the unborn are people at the moment of conception. This was accomplished through changes to civil law, by extending wrongful death liability for the unborn all the way to conception. In effect, this legislation confers personhood the moment an egg is fertilized.

The legal change in the civil definition of personhood wasn’t presented in the caption text. It was mentioned once in a single sentence under the bill’s summary. Additionally, the name given to the bill by the sponsors – the “Prenatal Life and Liberty Act” – wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the bill’s language, caption text, or summary. 

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National March for Life Was Mostly Virtual, but Pro-Life Supporters Attended Local Demonstrations Across U.S.

The national March for Life in Washington D.C. looked very different on Friday compared to past years. Normally, thousands of pro-life demonstrators would march through the Capitol in the yearly march, but this year the thousands turned to social media to watch as a few hundred hand-picked representatives of the pro-life movement marched in D.C. By Friday evening, a Facebook livestream of the event had over 200,000 views.

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State Senate Fails to Recall Heartbeat Bill

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – A majority of Tennessee State Senate voted to table the motion to reconsider the Heartbeat Bill through a recall, putting an end to any further action on the measure during this legislative session. The Senate version of the Heartbeat Bill, SB1236 sponsored by Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) was sent to “summer study” by the Judiciary Committee on April 9. Pro-life supporters fear that the Committee’s action will mean the end of the legislation, as summer study often does. The House version of the bill, HB0077 sponsored by Representative Micah Van Huss (R-Jonesborough), passed the full House on March 7 by a vote of 65 Ayes, 21 Noes and 7 Present Not Voting. As the sponsor of the bill, Senator Pody invoked Senate Rule 63 to recall the bill, and requested that action to be taken last week, as reported by The Tennessee Star. The recall would require a simple majority vote by the members of the Senate. An affirmative vote would put the bill on a future calendar of the Senate so that the whole body could vote on it. When the recall vote did not happen by last Thursday, Senator Pody vowed to request the vote…

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SHOCKER: 150 Tennessee So-Called ‘Faith Leaders’ Tell Governor Bill Lee They Support Unrestricted Abortion Access

In a letter addressed to The Honorable Governor Bill Lee, more than 150 self-proclaimed people of faith said they oppose all attempts to criminalize and restrict abortion access. While the correspondence is not dated, it appears by the mention of “HB77 and SB1236” in the letter, that the legislature’s consideration of the Heartbeat Bill was the impetus for the letter. The Heartbeat Bill, HB0077 and SB1236, sponsored by Representative Micah Van Huss (R-Jonesborough) and Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon), would ban abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected by ultrasound, usually at about six weeks after conception. HB0077 passed the state House on March 7 by a vote of 65 Ayes, 21 Nays and 7 Present Not Voting. SB1236 failed to advance in the Senate, when it was deferred to Summer Study by the Judiciary Committee on April 9. As reported by The Tennessee Star, Senate bill sponsor, Mark Pody has filed a request invoking Senate Rule 63 for the bill to be recalled so that it may be reconsidered. The faith leaders’ letter to Governor Lee was published on April 17 by LifeNews.com, an independent news agency devoted to reporting news that affects the pro-life community, according to its website.…

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Ohio’s Right To Life Organization Supported a ‘Heartbeat Bill,’ While Tennessee’s Opposed It

Ohio’s Right to Life organization supported and celebrated the state becoming the seventh to pass a “Heartbeat Bill” banning abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected. In contrast, Tennessee’s Right to Life organization opposed the “Heartbeat Bill” introduced in this session’s Tennessee General Assembly, and cheered when a State Senate Committee last week sent it off to “summer study” instead of passing it. In fact, Ohio’s Right to Life issued a press release the day the Human Rights and Heartbeat Protection Act (SB23) was signed into law by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine that featured a picture of the organization’s team standing beside the Governor during the signing ceremony. Ohio’s law bans an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually after about six weeks from conception. According to a January 2019 report of The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio’s Right to Life support of the legislation is relatively new, but it went all-in by putting the bill at the top of their legislative agenda. “It spent years opposing or remaining neutral on the measure,” reported The Dispatch. “But more recently, with President Donald Trump naming two justices to the U.S. Supreme Court and Gov. Mike DeWine indicating he will sign the bill,…

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Sen. Mark Pody on the ‘Heartbeat Bill’: It’s Very Disappointing That Tennessee Right to Life Would Be the Ones Standing in the Way

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – The day after the ‘Heartbeat Bill’ was sent by the Senate Judiciary Committee to “summer study,” the Senate sponsor of the bill Mark Pody said about Tennessee Right To Life, “It’s very disappointing that they would be the ones standing in the way.” Sen. Pody (R-Lebanon), in his introduction of the Heartbeat Bill on Tuesday in the Senate Judiciary Committee said in the nine years he had been in the legislature, “This is probably the most important piece of legislation I’ve brought this far.” After more than an hour of testimony and questions and answers from two expert witnesses – Dr. Brent Boles, a Murfreesboro-based practicing obstetrician/gynecologist who has delivered over 7,000 babies and attorney and President of Family Action Council of Tennessee for more than 10 years, David Fowler – the vote to send the bill to summer study passed by a vote of 5 Ayes, 3 Noes and 1 Pass, as reported by The Tennessee Star. The following day, Sen. Pody told The Star that they were positioned to do something about the 200 babies a day aborted in Tennessee, but now it has been postponed until August before there can be more discussion about…

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The Pro-Life Heartbeat Bill Passes the Tennessee House, Despite Protests From Planned Parenthood and Democrats

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – The majority of State House members voted for a pro-life Heartbeat Bill that bans abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, although the bill’s passage wasn’t without protests from Planned Parenthood and opposition by House Democrats. As reported by The Tennessee Star, the Heartbeat Bill, sponsored by Representative Micah Van Huss (R-Jonesborough) as HB 0077 passed in the House on Thursday by a vote of 65 Ayes, 21 Nays and 7 Present Not Voting. But, before the bill was presented and voted on, legislators were met with Planned Parenthood protesters in the rotunda of the Capitol outside the House chambers. Pro-life supporters were overwhelmed by pro-abortion protesters in both numbers and volume. Pro-abortionists, organized by Tennessee Advocates for Planned Parenthood’s Executive Director Francie Hunt and Community Organizer Elizabeth Thomas as a “Healthcare not Hangers” event, numbered about two dozen. All presented hand-written signs with disturbing messages describing supposed methods a woman would take if she were denied the right to a legal abortion. One pro-life supporter, Brenda Catanach, pointed out to The Star that the signs represented actions that are all self-inflicted by a woman’s own choice and not imposed upon her against her will. In addition…

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Tennessee Catholic Bishops Oppose Fetal Heartbeat Bill, Saying It Can Be Overturned in Court and Strengthen Abortion Providers

Three Tennessee Catholic bishops have come out together in opposition to the fetal heartbeat bill pending in the Tennessee General Assembly, saying that its failure would strengthen the pro-abortion industry. Bishop Richard F. Stika of the Diocese of Knoxville, Bishop J. Mark Spalding of the Diocese of Nashville and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Memphis issued a joint statement on Feb. 26. The fetal heartbeat bill would ban abortions once a heartbeat has been detected. It passed in the State House Health Committee last week. The bishops’ letter, which is also available here, reads: We believe that the sanctity of human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception to natural death.  So while we wholeheartedly support the intention of the “Heartbeat Bill” being considered by the Tennessee Legislature, we must also be prudent in how we combat the pro-abortion evil that dwells in our society. The “Heartbeat Bill” has been passed in various forms across the country and has been consistently struck down by state and federal courts alike for being unconstitutional.  In these legal cases, a victory is handed to the pro-abortion plaintiffs and we must remember that every pro-abortion…

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Tennessee Star EXCLUSIVE: State Rep. Micah Van Huss Introduces Bill to Protect the Unborn through a ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Ban

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – State Representative Micah Van Huss (R-Jonesborough) is bringing forward a bill that will protect the unborn by banning abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected. Van Huss told The Tennessee Star that his bill, HB 0077 – carried by Senator Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) in the Senate as SB 1236 – defines a viable pregnancy as opposed to a viable fetus. According to Van Huss’s amendment that makes the bill, the terms “viable” and “viability” mean the presence of an intrauterine fetus with a heartbeat. Van Huss explained to The Star, “After a viable pregnancy, there cannot be an abortion, and a viable pregnancy is after the heartbeat is detected.” As the sponsor of the bill, Van Huss said he believes the bill to be constitutional and added that the Supreme Court has only ever heard and argued a viable fetus – being able to live outside the womb – not a viable pregnancy. Should it be challenged after the bill passes, Van Huss said he is hopeful that the court “will err on the side of life, that they will see the rights that our unborn have.” Van Huss brought a Heartbeat Bill during the 110th Tennessee General Assembly…

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Planned Parenthood Says it is Ready to Bring Abortions Back to Nashville Starting in February

Nashville’s Planned Parenthood clinic plans to start killing babies again in February, Nashville Public Radio (WPLN) says. The Nashville clinic, which was possibly the last abortion facility in Nashville, stopped offering abortions in December, pro-life website Live Action said last month. But now, WPLN says, the clinic will start aborting babies in February. Chief Medical Officer Sarah Wallett of Planned Parenthood of Tennessee told WPLN the suspension was due to a merger between the Nashville/East Tennessee and Memphis offices. The merger was meant to save money but led to “hiccups” such as staffing issues – about 40 percent of the workers are new needed training to help carry out abortions. When the Nashville Planned Parenthood clinic’s abortions stopped in December, Brian Harris, president of Tennessee Right to Life, said, “With the suspension of abortion services in our state’s largest city, Tennessee Right to Life is grateful for a Christmas miracle.” Harris said his organization was receiving a spike ion calls from women seeking abortion appointments, and he cited efforts to provide referrals to agencies and resources to help abortion-vulnerable women and girls. When Planned Parenthood closed in December, that brought the number of known abortion sites in Tennessee down to…

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Nashville Abortion Center Closes for Good

Women's Center Nashville

As of last Saturday, no more abortions will take place at the unlicensed Women’s Center in Nashville. The owners of the facility officially closed their doors last weekend. The space they worked out of will soon get new tenants, said Tennessee Right to Life President Brian Harris on Monday. Harris would not say who the new tenants are, but he did say they form a local nonprofit healthcare provider that “offers ethical and life-affirming services for low-income individuals.” This mystery organization does not perform or refer for abortions, Harris told The Tennessee Star. “I think the (Women’s Center) facility had a plan to go out of business, and they just began marketing the building,” Harris said, referring to physician and owner Gary Boyle, who is based out of northwest Tennessee. Boyle is reportedly in his late 60s or early 70s by now. “I think what you are seeing across the country is the aging of the abortionist, and that is one factor in the closure of this facility,” Harris said. “It is very difficult to identify younger physicians who want to be involved in the dirty trade of abortion. Dr. Boyle is retirement age. I think — and I am…

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Tennessee Right to Life Endorses Dr. Mark Green for Congress

Mark Green

Tennessee Right to Life announced Tuesday it has endorsed Dr. Mark Green to represent the people of Tennessee’s 7th district in the US House of Representatives. “Mark Green understands the crucial importance of protecting human life and has devoted his public and professional life to the care of the weak and vulnerable. Tennessee Right to Life looks forward to continuing to work alongside Mark Green to affirm the dignity of every life,” the pro-life group’s  President Brian Harris said in a statement. The campaign said that with over 13,000 community health clinics that provide women’s services, Green believes “it’s past time to stop subsidizing Planned Parenthood—the nation’s largest abortion provider—with taxpayers’ money;” adding that – as one of only seven countries that allow elective abortions after 20 weeks – Green will lead the fight to pass the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. “As a physician, I know firsthand that life begins at conception, and it’s our moral responsibility as humans to protect the most vulnerable among us. If elected to Congress, I will continue to be a voice for the voiceless as I have been in the State Senate. I’m honored to receive Tennessee Right to Life’s endorsement,” Dr. Green said.…

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Tennessee Right to Life Endorses Diane Black for Governor

Diane Black

Tennessee Right to Life on Friday announced its endorsement of Diane Black for governor. Tennessee Right to Life’s endorsement is the most recent on a growing list of pro-life organizations backing Diane Black including Susan B. Anthony List and National Right to Life, the campaign said in a press release. Another recent endorsement was by the National Rifle Association. “For more than 14 years Diane Black has demonstrated principled leadership toward the legislative goals of Tennessee Right to Life,” said Brian Harris, president of Tennessee Right to Life, the state’s oldest and largest pro-life organization. “Our members have the deepest confidence that, among a field of pro-life candidates, Diane Black is best prepared by her experience and pro-life leadership to take on the next challenges facing Tennessee’s Right to Life movement.” Black said, ”Although Tennessee Right to Life is one of the most respected groups in our state, the work they do is not for praise or recognition, but for justice and protection for the lives of the unborn. Tennessee Right to Life has been an organization close to my heart for years. In the state legislature, we worked together to pass some of the strongest pro-life protections in the nation. I…

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The Heartbeat Report Bill Passes in The Tennessee House

NASHVILLE, Tennessee –House Bill 0108, the Heartbeat Report Bill, passed in the Tennessee House of Representatives on Monday by a vote of 74 to 20. “As amended, the Heartbeat Report Bill would require that the post-abortion report indicate the presence or absence of a heartbeat, would require that the Department of Health include in its annual report, the heartbeat presence statistics, would require that, if used, the ultrasound be offered to the mother of the baby to be killed,” the bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Micah Van Huss (R-Jonesborough) said on the floor of the House prior to the vote. The companion Senate Bill 0244 was referred to the Judiciary Committee, although it has not been scheduled on the committee calendar. Van Huss took up the mission more than a year ago to protect the unborn by introducing a Heartbeat Bill, which would prohibit abortion in the state of Tennessee from the point a fetal heartbeat is detected. As previously reported by The Tennessee Star, it became increasingly obvious that the bill in its original form would not pass the House Health Committee and was, therefore, amended. The amendment requires that “if an ultrasound is performed as part of the examination prior to…

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