Tennessee House lawmakers approved a bill Thursday to create a monument for unborn babies killed in abortions.
If state House Bill 2381 is approved, the “Tennessee Monument to Unborn Children” would be placed on the Capitol grounds. No tax dollars would be used to pay for the memorial.
State Rep. Bill Dunn, one of the sponsors of the bill, said the monument would join two others at the Capitol that are dedicated to victims of slavery and of the holocaust, according to The Tennessee Star.
“Both of these monuments that are already here recognize that atrocities occurred because human beings were treated as less than human,” Dunn said in March when the bill was introduced. “In both cases, the vulnerable and defenseless were subjected to the will of the powerful. The taking of the life of a baby in the womb is related to this brand of inhumanity.”
The bill passed the House in a 63-15 vote Thursday, Chas Sisk of Nashville Public Radio reported. It now moves to the state Senate for consideration.
He summarized the debate on Twitter: “Quick summary: The sponsor, J. Sexton, R-Bean Sta., says it’s for children who died through abortion, violence and miscarriage. Jones, D-Nashville, says it might be cruel to women who’ve suffered those circumstances to have a permanent marker.”
But Dunn said the memorial would recognize women and men who have been hurt by abortion as well.
“While the baby can be seen as the obvious victim, the women coerced into abortion, the fathers who can’t protect their unborn child, the brothers and sisters who lose a sibling, and society as a whole who becomes coarsened because life is cheapened,” he said.
In March, Myra Simons, a Tennessee pro-life leader who aborted an unborn child as a young woman, urged lawmakers to pass the bill, saying it would help grieving parents like herself to heal.
Simons said: “Establishing a Memorial for the Victims of Abortion would be key to starting the healing process for many, many men and women. Just the recognition that they are valued will go a long way in helping these hurting men and women to know we understand what they have gone through and for them to know that there are people who do indeed care.
“And also to remember the babies whose lives are forever gone because of their mother’s one misguided decision on that one ill-fated day. Establishing this memorial is just the right thing to do,” she said.