Tennessee Right to Life

Will Brewer speaks for Tennessee Right to Life at a press conference in the old Supreme Court Chambers of the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville following the overturning of Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022. 

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court did something that it rarely does, and it overruled its own precedent by declaring that there is no constitutional right to abortion in this country. Rather than a federal blanket of protection, the issue of abortion is returned to each state to decide. In Tennessee, abortion will be completely outlawed in approximately a month once a “trigger” law takes effect – the triggering action being the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Until that time, abortions are prohibited past the point of six weeks’ gestation as a result of a “heartbeat bill” passed in 2020.

Many in the media and, more influentially, social media have decried this decision by the Supreme Court as damaging to the institution to overturn 50 years of its own precedent. However, in 1953, segregated educational facilities were allowed by Supreme Court precedent as long as they were “separate but equal.” Hindsight is always 20/20 and today, we as a society know, just as Justice Alito wrote in the Dobbs majority opinion, that the “separate but equal” provision of Plessy v. Ferguson was “egregiously wrong” and that the subsequent 1954 decision by the Court in Brown v. Board of Education to overturn “separate but equal” was long overdue. The fact is that the U.S. Supreme Court legitimizes itself by recognizing its own errors and correcting them. When it comes to an issue of life and death, the Court has every responsibility to correct itself when history proves its past decisions are “egregiously wrong.”

Furthermore, the Court made clear that abortion has only been part of the fabric of this Country’s history and tradition for the last 50 odd years. In 1973, when Roe was decided, even the plaintiffs knew that abortion was, only recently, an acceptable trend. Abortion existed at the time of the drafting of our Constitution and the founders chose not to include it in the rights granted by the Constitution. For that reason, the majority in Dobbs is right to exclude abortion from the explicit rights granted by the United States Constitution. Terminating a human life is not compatible with a nation that values life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness above all else.

Tennessee’s prohibitions on abortion are only for elective abortions and do not include prohibitions on removing the effects of a miscarriage nor does it include removing an ectopic pregnancy. It is not medically necessary to have an elective abortion in order to save the life of the mother because any act that clinically treats the mother’s condition and results in terminating the life of the child is not intended to kill the child but, rather, save the mother. Thus, efforts to save the life of the mother are also not included in the abortion prohibitions.

Elective abortions where the primary intent is to terminate the life of the child are the only abortions being prohibited. Even, at that, the mother cannot be criminally prosecuted because she, like her child, has fallen prey to the predatory nature of an industry that will profit from her decision. Only the provider of the abortion can be prosecuted. These are all enormous sources of misinformation that need to be clarified. The pro-abortion cause is misleading women across this country and, as a result, scaring women from receiving treatment for ectopic pregnancies or terminal conditions. If we are to show love to these mothers, then we need to clear up this misinformation every chance we get.

Empathy and reason are crucial during these post-Dobbs times. For too long, abortion has been used as a crutch to cure mistakes. This is a grave moral error that should not be enshrined as a “right.” However, when a child is conceived in socially or economically fragile environments, we can continue to do what the pro-life community has done all along. We can greet the mother and child with love and compassion and offer them the resources necessary to ensure that the mother is well cared for and that the baby is given every possible avenue to live a life of love and care. These avenues include pregnancy resource centers which offer counseling and, in some instances, financial aid, to the mother and child in need. They offer whatever is needed to aid in the sustaining of life. We can continue our path of making Tennessee the easiest state in the country in which to adopt a child.

These ideas are not new or radical to those of us that work in the pro-life movement, and we will continue to devote every ounce of our time, effort and resources to sharing love and care to both the mother and the child.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.