Tenn. Rep. not happy with changes to his abortion bill

Feb 13, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  The Tennessee House has passed an abortion bill, but the final version bears little resemblance to the author’s original intent.

East Tennessee Republican Micah Van Huss wrote a bill that would have outlawed abortion in Tennessee beyond the point when a fetal heartbeat can be detected. That would have meant abortions could not have been performed past about six weeks into a pregnancy.

Rep. Sherry Jones and Rep. Micah Van Huss
Credit tn.gov

Of course, such a bill would not have proven constitutional. It would have been voided by the U.S. Supreme Court Roe versus Wade decision enshrining a woman’s right to an abortion in constitutional law.

The watered down version of the proposal that passed the House this week only requires that doctors offer any woman seeking the procedure a look at a pre-abortion ultrasound if one is made.

During floor debate on the bill Rep. Van Huss made it clear he was not happy with the way his proposal had been re-written.

“We cannot continue to allow the slaughter of the unborn while we hope for better circumstances, and we should not cede this responsibility to the next generation.”

Nashville Democrat Sherry Jones told Van Huss that asking a woman to look at an ultrasound pre-abortion was “serious emotional abuse.”

She also challenged the Republican controlled legislature to provide children who are born in Tennessee with adequate food, shelter and healthcare.

"If we want the woman to have a baby then let's step up and let's take care of that child and let's take care of that mother. Be sure that the child eats and has a decent life and goes to school and can be something."

The Senate version of the bill is still in committee.