Protecting Women, the Unborn, and the Terminally Sick
FACT recognizes and honors the intrinsic value of all human life.
The law should protect the life of every person—no matter how old, young or disabled. Over the past few decades, some in our culture have waged war on human life: legalizing abortion in Roe v. Wade, destroying human embryos in the name of scientific research, and seeking to legalize “mercy” killing through “death with dignity.”
We seek to reverse these life-denying trends and to foster a culture that respects human life.
One way we have been doing this recently is by supporting and implementing Amendment 1 (Senate Joint Resolution 127), which provides common-sense abortion regulations like a waiting period and clinic regulations, sensible laws that had been struck down by the Tennessee Supreme court in 2000 and got reinstated thanks to the passage of this key measure in November 2014.
During the 2015 legislative session, we made progress on a couple of measures related to Amendment 1 that were signed into law: first, a 48-hour waiting period with in-person counseling by a physician prior to an abortion, which was signed into law by Gov. Haslam on May 18, 2015, and, second, the new requirement that all clinics in Tennessee performing more than 50 surgical abortions per year be regulated as ambulatory surgery treatment centers. The new regulations took effect July 1, 2015.
While abortion-specific informed consent and waiting period laws have been enacted, those laws, including the amendment itself, are the subject of a lawsuit in federal court challenging their constitutionality.
Oral arguments for the federal trial on Amendment 1 occurred on April 5, 2016. No ruling has been made yet. In the state action filed by the Secretary of State, the motion for summary judgment is scheduled for March 30, 2016.
Another way we have been standing for life is by providing information and feedback concerning assisted suicide to our Tennessee Legislature.
In late September 2015, Davidson County Chancellor Carol McCoy ruled against former gubernatorial candidate John Jay Hooker, who had terminal cancer and wanted the court to strike down as unconstitutional the state’s prohibition on physician-assisted suicide. Ruling in favoring of life, the judge called the practice of physician-assisted suicide “criminal conduct.” Hooker asked that the Tennessee Supreme Court take the case directly.
Physician-assisted suicide is still illegal in Tennessee.