From anti-abortion to abortion rights: Thoughts on Tennessee’s abortion ban flow in

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — Aug. 25 marked the day Tennessee’s abortion trigger law goes into effect, banning abortions in the state. Doctors will later have to prove an abortion took place to prevent the death of the mother.

Across the state, comments have come in from politicians and health-related entities on the ban, below are their statements.

Dr. Jason Martin, Democratic candidate for governor:

Today, millions of women in Tennessee have been stripped of their right to privacy and their reproductive rights. As a physician, I can definitively say that healthcare providers are also being criminalized for doing their jobs to protect and save lives.

After being elected the Governor of Tennessee, I will work to repeal this awful trigger law and use every possible mechanism of the office to make sure women have full access to healthcare. Until this trigger law is repealed, we need to make sure that any legislation we pass includes coverage for transportation, protections against prosecution, increased counseling services, and a renewed focus on the people affected most – women. Let me be clear, I will not hesitate to use the pardoning power of the office to make sure that no health care provider is prosecuted for providing the best health care possible.

If the radical super majority in the General Assembly decides to prosecute women, as has been brought up by people here in Tennessee and in other states, I will make sure that those women are pardoned if prosecutors choose to attack our citizens in their time of need. We must do everything we can to fight this injustice, and as I look into executive actions that can help women across this state, I hope you will join me in doing what we can do today to make sure that women are supported, and heard.

Stacey Dunn, president of Tennessee Right to Life

“On June 24, the Supreme Court made its historic decision confirming what pro-life leaders have known since 1973, that abortion is not a right found in the Constitution. The intentional killing of unborn children is not a Constitutional right. Therefore, abortion regulation was returned to the states, and pro-life Tennessee was in position ready to accept the responsibility of protecting and defending our most vulnerable citizens. August 25 is another historic day for Tennessee. It is a day innocent lives will be protected. The right to life is the most fundamental right of any human being. To protect that right for our unborn children is a responsibility that we take seriously. Tennesseans should be proud of what our state has accomplished for our most vulnerable citizens.”

Susan Lynn, bill sponsor on Human Right Protection Act

“The end of abortion-on-demand in our state is a badge of honor for Tennessee. We are proud of the fact that we will no longer tolerate those who profit from the destruction of children and the exploitation of their mothers. No longer will the abortionist have free rein in our state.”

Tennessee Senate Minority Leader Sen. Jeff Yarbro:

“Tennessee now has one of the most extreme abortion bans in the nation. It criminalizes all abortions without exceptions for rape, incest, or threats to health or life of women. Our already high rates of infant & maternal deaths will go up. It’s not pro-life, pro-baby, or pro-mom.”

Susan Lynn, bill sponsor on Human Right Protection Act

Joint statement by Senate Democratic Caucus Chairwoman Sen. Raumesh Akbari with House Minority Leader Rep. Karen Camper and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Vincent Dixie:

“Tennessee’s dangerous abortion ban takes effect today. This government mandate on reproductive healthcare endangers the lives of women during a crisis pregnancy and gives rapists a greater right to choose the mother of their child than a woman has to control her own future. There should be clear protections for mothers if their life and health are in danger and a victim of rape should not be victimized twice. Pregnancy is no place for big government. Choosing to start a family is a moral and a personal issue. Women should be trusted to start a family when they’re ready — without interference from the government. Our caucuses are committed to reproductive freedom.”

Dolores Gresham, former state senator and sponsor for the Human Right Protection Act

“The voters of Tennessee have worked to elect pro-life super majorities that reflect their fundamental value for life in the House and the Senate, and they are now seeing the fruits of their labors. For legislators, our hope in passing the Human Life Protection Act, by an overwhelming majority, was for a state free from the violence and exploitation of the abortion industry. Our hope is now a reality.”

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