In a stunning act of political gamesmanship, state representatives
Micah Van Huss
(R-Jonesborough) joined on Wednesday with pro-abortion Democrats to kill
in the House Public Health Sub-committee. The Human Life Protection Act is sponsored by
Rep. Susan Lynn
(R- Mt. Juliet) and is a legislative priority of Tennessee Right to Life.
Legislative attorneys argued against the bill while leading pro-life constitutional attorney Paul Linton carefully explained the importance and need for the legislation should
Roe v. Wade
be overturned in whole or in part. Linton, who helped to draft pro-life Amendment 1, as well as Tennessee's laws to prevent post-viability abortion, de-funding of Planned Parenthood and the state's Unborn Victims of Violence Act, noted that such "trigger" laws are already in place in states such as Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota and South Dakota. Arkansas recently passed such a law and proposals in other states, including Kentucky, Ohio, Oklahoma, Missouri, South Carolina, and Texas, are moving forward now in their state legislatures.
Prime Sponsor Susan Lynn spoke of Tennessee's legacy as a pro-life leader.
"It has always been the priority of Tennessee's pro-life movement to restore the fullest possible protection to the largest number of unborn children and women in our state. While states like New York are moving to strip any limits to abortion--even at the moments before birth---Tennessee wants to be known for protecting our children."
Defeat of the bill was seen by some as seeking leverage for Senate passage of the less restrictive "heartbeat bill" which has been
struck down as unconstitutional in every state where it has been passed.
Rep. Ron Gant
, Assistant House Caucus Leader (R-Rossville), told
he continues to support the bill and hopes to see it reintroduced. " I would obviously have liked to see House Bill 1029 advance today...but we weren't given that opportunity...It's just very disappointing."