Once again, we here at the ACLJ are fighting for life. We’re engaged in courts and legislatures across the country supporting and defending pro-life laws that protect the unborn and those who advocate for them. Our latest submission aims to protect the lives of unborn babies at the very earliest stages of pregnancy.
Today and tomorrow, the Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a summer study regarding Amendment No. 1 to SB 1236, a bill protecting life if a pregnancy is presumed to exist upon finding the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), or confirmed viable upon detection of a fetal heartbeat. We submitted testimony today in support of this bill.
The abortion lobby and others are mobilizing to oppose this bill, and we’re mobilizing to fight back. All opponents to this bill give way too much credit to the highly contested opinion in Roe v. Wade. I point out in my testimony that:
I would suggest that the fate of this bill really rests on the answer to one question. When are rights protected and more specifically when is the right to life protected? Although this question has been debated since the highly contested opinion in Roe v. Wade, even Justice Blackmun himself concedes that Roe fails if it is ever established that an unborn baby has the right to life. I wholly concur, although I believe that Roe fails for many more reasons as well. Blackmun goes on to state, as a matter of fact, that the right to life would absolutely trump the judicially fabricated right to abortion created in the majority opinion. So the author of one of the most controversial Supreme Court decisions to date, literally sets the path to invalidate that same decision.
I go on to point out that while the majority in Roe tried to claim that there is no historical evidence that an unborn baby enjoys the right to life, the clear rebuttal to this erroneous claim may be found in our Declaration of Independence. As I explained in my submitted testimony:
We are all familiar with the language that says “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” However, the opinion of Roe,and anyone who supports the killing of unborn children, clearly has missed the meaning of those words. It unmistakably declares that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. So when are we endowed with unalienable rights? At creation. Our founders did not declare that we are born equal and endowed with rights, but that we were created equal and endowed with rights. Thus, although Blackmun tried so hard to argue that we were never given any indication of when rights attach, I wholeheartedly disagree. The Declaration could not be more clear that rights attach at creation.
The bill itself recognizes this principle found in our Declaration by citing the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in which it is declared “that no State shall ‘deprive any person of life . . . without due process of law.’” The bill goes on to state that “Congress nevertheless made no attempt to distinguish persons born from those unborn in the language of the Fourteenth Amendment,” which is in complete alignment with a historical understanding that we are indeed created – and endowed with inalienable rights upon our creation.
Opponents of the bill, in their reliance upon Roe, fail to understand that they are on the wrong side of, not only history but also of science. As I further detailed in our submitted testimony:
The compelling interest for the mother was based upon “present medical knowledge.” The sole argument for the first trimester distinction was based on an alleged fact of the then current medical knowledge that abortion was safer than childbirth. Unfortunately for Roe, present medical knowledge no longer justifies that conclusion. Published research strongly indicates that abortion, rather than being safer than childbirth, is in fact more dangerous.
Further, they fail to understand the importance of fighting against bad precedent. Throughout history, many people have fought against wrong and unjust decisions. And that is what we are doing now. In supporting and ultimately passing this Bill, Tennessee legislators would be sending a message that they choose to be on the right side of history – that they choose to stand for the principles of and protections for life found in both our Declaration of Independence and in our Constitution.
As I stated in my testimony, “Tennessee not only has the right, but the duty to make sure defenseless unborn babies are protected.” Your voice is also needed to help protect unborn babies. You can make your voice heard by contacting your state representatives and asking them to stand for life. You can also sign our petition below.
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