Tennessee Legislature Moves Multiple Pro-Life Bills Ahead

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 24, 2012   |   8:11PM   |   Washington, DC

The Tennessee state legislature has been moving several pro-life bills ahead and the state’s leading pro-life organization is pleased state lawmakers are pushing its priorities to protect women and unborn children.

When the Tennessee General Assembly adjourns later this week, it will close what has been a truly historic legislative session for the pro-life cause, according to Tennessee Right to Life. A measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet was approved 27-5 in the Senate on Tuesday that would require abortion practitioners to have admitting privileges at a local hospital in cases of botched abortions.

Beavers said, according to AP, that medical procedures don’t always go as planned and that such problems require the resources of a hospital for the patient to receive the best care.

On Monday evening and Tuesday afternoon, Beavers successfully passed two priorities for Right to Life supporters:  the requirement that abortion providers have admitting privileges at a licensed hospital (SB 3323) and the broadening of the state’s longtime Unborn Victims of Violence Act (SB 3412), ensuring that every unborn child is considered a person when the victim of criminal assault or murder.

According to TRTL, earlier in the session, legislators also banned the use of webcam Internet hookups for dispensing abortion drugs, gave final legislative approval to SJR 127 placing a proposed pro-life constitutional amendment on the ballot for 2014, and worked with the Governor to administratively defund Planned Parenthood’s abortion facilities of tax dollars in Tennessee. Additionally, the state House passed HR 110 recognizing the work of life-affirming pregnancy resource centers which offer confidential care and counsel throughout the state.

“Tennessee Right to Life thanks the members of the 107th General Assembly for moving the pro-life agenda forward in such a profound way,” said Brian Harris, the organization’s president. “We are grateful to pro-life legislative leadership, our bill sponsors and the supermajorities who voted the will of their constituents for the protection of abortion-vulnerable women and their unborn children.”

Harris also acknowledged the work and fortitude of the organization’s volunteer lobbyist, Karen Brukardt.

“For the past 11 years Karen has dedicated herself to doing everything possible to ensure passage of SJR 127 so that Tennesseans can decide for ourselves what state laws will be on the fundamental matter of life and death,” said Harris.  “The successful passage of SJR 127 and other protective policies are the fruit of Karen’s hard work and Tennessee Right to Life is indebted to such a committed advocate.”

Senators voting in support of both pro-life bills include: Lt. Gov. Ramsey, Barnes, Beavers, Bell, Burks, Campfield, Crowe, Finney, Ford, Gresham, Henry, Johnson, Kelsey, Ketron, Massey, McNally, Norris, Overbey, Roberts, Southerland, Stewart, Summerville, Tate, Tracy, Watson, Yager (26).

Voting pro-life for admitting privileges (SB 3323): Herron.

Voting pro-life for Unborn Victims Act (SB 3412): Berke and Faulk.

Voting pro-abortion on admitting privileges: Berke, Harper, and Haynes.

Voting consistently pro-abortion: Kyle and Marrero.