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Next Steps on the Tennessee Heartbeat Bill

Thanks to the hundreds who sent emails and tweets to the nine members of the Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee urging them to support the rewritten heartbeat bill, SB 1236, during the August 12-13 Summer Study.

Your participation—by contacting the committee members, sitting in the hearing room at the Capitol, or speaking for life on our social media channels—has greatly encouraged us.

There are two things you can do now before the bill comes back up in January to help protect the lives of the unborn in Tennessee.

First, visit the Heartbeat Bill Summer Study Hearing page on our website for resources that you can watch, read, and then share. These include the video of FACT President David Fowler and FACT CEO Gary Humble discussing the Ninth Amendment as it relates to the heartbeat bill and David’s testimony at the hearing as well as that of other proponents of the bill as amended.

Second, pray that the legislature will make the decision that would save the lives of the unborn and help begin the process of restoring the rule of law in our country. We believe many of the pro-life senators in the Senate Judiciary Committee are beginning to listen to the new Ninth Amendment arguments being made in support of the bill.

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Tennessee Baptists Show Support for Life

In anticipation of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings on the “fetal heartbeat” bill set for August 12 and 13, the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board is circulating an “I Stand for Life” petition that is garnering signatures from Baptists across the state who believe life begins at conception and abortion is wrong. Currently, more than 4,200 have signed the petition.

About this new initiative, TBMB President & Executive Director Randy C. Davis says, “We want to let this committee—and the full legislature when it reconvenes—know that Tennessee Baptists stand for life and that we want laws in our state that protect the lives of precious unborn babies.”

FACT certainly applauds efforts like this in the Body of Christ to broadcast the pro-life message to both our state legislature and our culture.

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Sexton Wins Nomination for TN House Speaker

The Tennessee House Republican Caucus met Wednesday morning and chose Rep. Cameron Sexton as their nominee for Speaker to replace current Speaker Glen Casada, who will resign on August 2.

On the fourth round of ballots, Sexton garnered 41 votes out of the 70 Republican members present. Caucus rules provided that the candidate receiving the fewest votes would be eliminated from the next round until one candidate received a majority of the votes. We congratulate Rep. Sexton on his nomination.

On Friday, August 23, the full House will gather as part of a special session called by Gov. Lee to elect a new Speaker. Because the Republicans hold a super majority in the House, Sexton is virtually assured of being elected.

Speaker Pro Tempore Bill Dunn will handle the duties of Speaker until that time.

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Nomination for Next TN House Speaker Coming Later This Month

Please be praying for our House leadership.

On Wednesday, July 24, the Tennessee House Republican Caucus is meeting to select a Republican nominee for Speaker of the House to replace Rep. Glen Casada, who will resign from his position as Speaker on August 2. Upon his resignation, Speaker Pro Tem Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville) will serve as acting Speaker until Friday, August 23, when Gov. Bill Lee has called for a special session of the Legislature at which time the full House will elect a new Speaker.

Because the Republicans hold a super majority in the House, their nominee is virtually assured of being elected.

Currently running for Speaker are the following state representatives, listed alphabetically: Rep. Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah), Deputy Speaker Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough), Rep. Curtis Johnson (R-Clarksville), Rep. Jay Reedy (R-Erin), and Rep. Ryan Williams (R-Cookeville).

Caucus Chairman Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) is still considering running.

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TN Attorney General Unable to Derail Pro-Life Law

This week the Judiciary Committee in the Tennessee Senate moved to the Senate floor a bill that would ban post-viability abortions except where necessary to save the life or physical health of the mother. Though multiple laws exactly like this one now exist and none have been ruled unconstitutional, Tennessee’s attorney general issued an opinion saying the bill was “constitutionally suspect” because it, like the other laws, did not include an exception for a mother’s “emotional health.” Thankfully, the committee was provided testimony from someone who is truly an expert relative to constitutional law and abortion, and the majority voted in favor of the bill despite the attorney general’s opinion.

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