The Volunteer State Stands for Life!

Barb Wire

Time doesn’t just heal — it saves. Tennesseans are excited to see just how much, now that the state is officially part of the more than two dozen with abortion waiting periods.

Under the new law, moms-to-be would have to visit the office for in-person counseling before returning two days later for the procedure. As part of that consultation, a doctor is required to tell them the age of their baby, the alternatives to abortion, and the risks of it.

Women will also learn that if their infant survives the procedure, the medical staff will do everything they can to care for the child. Any doctor who fails to comply could face criminal charges and/or lose his license. For pro-lifers, Tennessee’s move puts it just behind Oklahoma’s new 72-hour waiting period — with Florida and North Carolina next in line to enact similar laws.

As popular as the idea was in the legislature, it was even more so with locals. In a poll by Vanderbilt University, only 28% opposed the 48-hour waiting period.

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Planned Parenthood must have made up a good bit of that percent, since its spokesmen were out in full force blasting the bill as “embarrassing.” Calling it a “sad day” for Tennessee, the group’s Steven Emmert argued that postponing abortions two days was somehow an “emotional hardship” for women.

On the contrary, this bill gives women what Planned Parenthood insists it supports: real choice. “Once women know all the facts and have all the facts before them, many will opt against abortion, and therefore, lives will be changed,”said pro-lifer Myra Simons. “Would that be a terrible thing? Isn’t pregnancy a thing to be celebrated now?”

Of course, the pro-abortion movement wasn’t exactly built on thoughtful, informed decisions. “Now women and girls will be assured of additional information and adequate time to ensure that their decision is fully informed,” Brian Harris of Tennessee Right to Life told reporters. “Women will be empowered and lives will be saved as a result of these common-sense safeguards.”

If anyone knows the value of waiting, it’s voters in the Volunteer State — who spent 14 years trying to strip the “right” to abortion out of the state’s constitution. With the help of the local groups and organizations like FRC Action, Tennesseans passed Amendment 1 last November, restoring the right of citizens to advance pro-life measures through the legislature.

Last week, Governor Bill Haslam (R) kicked off the celebration by signing a bill into law that ensures abortion clinics are regulated like outpatient surgery centers. And not a moment too soon, judging by the series of botched abortions in states across America (five in four weeks at one Houston clinic!).

These are just some of the 381 pro-life measures introduced this year! Think elections don’t matter? Think again!


The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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