By Teresa Crowder
Abortion has been a heated topic of physical, emotional, and spiritual debate for decades and has gotten some serious attention in recent days.
The intensity continues to grow as laws and opinions change along with medical research and political agendas.
There is now a possibility that Roe v Wade may be overturned in the Supreme Court.
Norma McCorvey (September 22, 1947–February 18, 2017) was a young pregnant woman in Texas in 1970 without the means or funds to have an abortion. McCorvey did not have an abortion, and her stance on the topic ebbed and flowed until her death. She became the plaintiff known as “Jane Roe” in Roe v. Wade, which was decided in 1973 and became one of the most famous Supreme Court decisions of the 20th century.
Local and state officials representing Johnson County commented on the issue in the spotlight.
“I’m one of the millions of pro-life Tennesseans anxiously awaiting the court’s decision,” said TN Representative Scotty Campbell.
“Nationally, this decision will save millions of lives if it looks like the draft opinion.”
Tennessee has a number of bills dealing with abortion, and there are provisions in place should Roe v Wade be overturned. In 2019, Tennessee passed the Human Life Protection Act or the ‘trigger bill,” which prohibits abortions in the state, except for medical emergencies, and could be in effect, should Roe be overturned, thirty days after the decision is made.
Under this bill will be a Class C felony for a person to perform or attempt to perform an abortion.
The bill will not subject the pregnant woman upon whom an abortion is performed or attempted to criminal conviction or penalty.
In 2020, Governor Lee signed a bill banning abortions when a heartbeat is detected around six weeks into a pregnancy. The Guttmacher Institute estimates that the 2017 abortion rate for Tennessee was 9.2. The 2017 abortion rate across the entire United States was 13.5.
Over the years, the data has shown improvement for Tennessee and the United States. The Institute reports this may be due to the increased awareness, education, availability of birth control, etc.
“Tennessee has passed some of the most pro-life legislation in the nation,” said TN Senator Rusty Crowe.
“We have passed Gov. Lee’s landmark heartbeat bill, and just in case Roe were to be overturned…we passed what is being called the trigger law that goes into effect immediately upon reversal of Roe by the supreme court…and as such, abortion would not be legal in Tennessee unless the mother’s life or health were in danger…I do think that whatever the court ultimately decides, Tennessee will continue to be one of the most pro-life states in the nation — whether under the current laws or under a new one.”
Crow added that as stated in the 10th amendment to the constitution, the federal government does not have the right to decide this issue “for us…this abortion issue belongs as a local state decision that we as Tennesseeans decide, through the people you elect to represent you…not the Supreme Court and especially not the federal government.”
For more, visit: http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/111/Bill/HB1029.pdf.