Tennessee Republicans Sidestep Issue As Abortion Rights Groups Plan To Push For Exceptions To New Abortion Ban

Image Credit: Gov. Bill Lee / Facebook

The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –

The new almost total ban on abortions is scheduled to go into effect in Tennessee on August 25. As that date approaches, abortion rights advocacy groups are gearing up to try and push the General Assembly to create exceptions to that ban while Republican leaders continue to avoid vocalizing a firm stance on the issue.

The new law does not currently include any exceptions to abortions in the state, including abortions in the case of rape, incest, or child sexual abuse. Additionally, those who provide abortion services are subject to felony criminal charges. 

One group pushing for exceptions is the Sexual Assault Center, located in Nashville. They plan to lobby the General Assembly to provide exceptions for victims of sexual assault who wish to receive an abortion.

Jessica Barfield, vice-president of the Sexual Assault Center, says “[We want] to help victim-survivors and assist them in the process, let them regain autonomy and the control of their body that was taken away during the rape and incest that happened.”

The Tennessee Right to Life organization has expressed opposition to abortion exceptions under any circumstances.

In an interview with Tennessee Lookout, legal counsel and lobbyist Will Brewer said, “Let’s show that mother love and compassion and not create a double atrocity by terminating the life that’s inside of her on top of the horrific instances that have already occurred.”

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Republican leaders, however, have yet to take a solid stance on possible exceptions to the new legislation.

Governor Bill Lee has avoided questions regarding exceptions, specifically those for underage pregnancies. He only stated that he was committed to implementing the new law.

Neither Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally nor House Speaker Cameron Sexton would say whether they would allow for exceptions or hold firm on the total ban.

Sexton noted a hope that leaders would “discuss how we can make resources like contraceptives more readily available and free.”

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Adam Keinheider, spokesperson for McNally, said, “Lt. Governor McNally is very sensitive to the tension between the human leader of the unborn and the clear violation of human dignity and autonomy involved in the heinous crime of rape.”

He also noted that McNally “stands against restrictions against contraception and has voted to make access easier. He believes this is the most philosophically consistent and humane way to prevent pregnancies in these cases.”

The law does provide the possibility for physicians to defend an abortion procedure if it is performed to keep the mother from dying or being left with a serious injury. 

About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative  ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career.  Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others.  He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History.  Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com

5 thoughts on “Tennessee Republicans Sidestep Issue As Abortion Rights Groups Plan To Push For Exceptions To New Abortion Ban

  • August 22, 2022 at 4:11 pm
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    Hopefully they don’t bend and stay the course on the abortion ban.

    Reply
  • August 22, 2022 at 7:37 pm
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    I’m the Tennessee State Captain for Students for Life Action – if anyone (adult or student) wants to help us keep this ban the way it is, let me know!
    Reach us on instagram @sfl_southeast_tn
    or to me personally @bro_lifer

    Reply
  • August 22, 2022 at 9:33 pm
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    Rape or incest first trimester abortions are reasonable accommodations. No life created by incest or rape should be protected over the victim’s rights of the originating crime. Then and only then should exceptions in the abortion bans be waved. The suffering that may arise within a victim forced to carry a growing part of their attacker could amount to months of rape! Then also, the inbreeding or defective genes from the criminal is passed on through the victim delivering a baby. When a sick beast of a man, rapes a sheep should the gross organism that is possible to be created to be preserved? I detest abortions. But in a few cases it might be the right thing to do, if done very early on in the formation of life. I would hope that a baby born from a rape victim would still be loved and be a normal person and that the mother could be unharmed by the emotional baggage as well. However, it is likely that would often, not be the case. Adoption is good, but may not help heal the victim and does not assure one that the child of the criminal does not carry defective genes and proclivities inherited from the evil criminal pervert. I have been a donor and supporter of students for life and several other great groups fighting abortion and applaud them and will continue to support as I am able. Enabling criminal rapist to pass on their genes is not one of my goals in fighting abortion.

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  • August 23, 2022 at 12:50 am
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    I just know how two wrongs will make a right!! First the assault then an abortion! Seems both are very traumatizing for the woman and of course the unborn baby. I have seen many times this exception is abused and also the perpetrator gets away with the rape/incest especially with underage females all done with good intentions.

    Reply
  • August 23, 2022 at 12:51 am
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    I just don’t know how two wrongs will make a right!! First the assault then an abortion! Seems both are very traumatizing for the woman and of course the unborn baby. I have seen many times this exception is abused and also the perpetrator gets away with the rape/incest especially with underage females all done with good intentions.

    Reply

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