NEW: “Deberry Calls Abortion BLACK GENOCIDE”
Rep. John DeBerry, Jr. supported the “Heartbeat Bill”, which forces a woman to carry her rapist’s child to term, as well as @GovBillLee‘s public school-harming vouchers. @PPact has put up 3 billboards in Memphis about Deberry. pic.twitter.com/pfb3V00jP1
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) June 11, 2019
This morning in Franklin was the monthly Williamson County “Legislative Update”, hosted by Williamson Inc.
The event was called a “Town Hall” until recently, but the name was apparently changed after former State House candidate Rebecca Purington called them out for calling it a “Town Hall” without actually taking questions.
Fair point, Rebecca.
They stopped taking questions after Ashley Massey stood up and pinned Williamson legislators to the wall about their silence about Rep. David Byrd, who has apologized on tape to 1 of 3 women who say he molested them in high school.
Byrd remains in office to this day, but how long he lasts remains to be seen since his chief protector Glen Casada will be resigning his speakership in shame in the coming days.
Casada was not at the “Legislative Update”, apparently getting some sun in Greece.
Casada’s pal Brandon Ogles also skipped the meeting, letting the organizers know at 530AM this morning that he had a sudden “rotator cuff ” injury. (mm hmmmm)
The only Williamson legislators to show up were Sam Whitson and Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson. Below are some clips of a few of the subjects they covered.
Whitson talked about the passage of the Katie Beckett Waiver, which keeps parents of disabled children from having to make impossible decision to keep their kids on insurance.
No word on why that logic shouldn’t apply to the 300,000 other Tennesseans faced with the very same decisions, who don’t have insurance because of the Republican refusal to expand Medicaid, which costs Tennessee billions of dollars each year.
After the meeting Senator Johnson answered our question about the “Heartbeat Bill”, which seeks to ban abortions once a heartbeat is detected, and makes no exceptions for rape or incest – which means a raped teenage girl would have to carry her rapist’s child to term.
The film industry has recently said they w0n’t do business in Georgia if their similar bill becomes law. When asked what Johnson would say to industries that may have the same issue with Tennessee were Tennessee’s bill to pass, his answer:
“Go back to California.”
Footage from the “Stop the Bans” rally at the capitol in Nashville day, where hundreds gathered to oppose the draconian abortion bans we’re seeing throughout the country.
(Drone footage from Alex Kent)
Footage from the anti-Casada protest at the capitol, and from the House Republicans caucus vote to decide his fate yesterday.
Casada has agreed to resign, but that isn’t enough. He needs to leave the legislature altogether.
A bill that would effectively outlaw abortions in Tennessee if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade is headed to Governor Lee’s desk. Lee has repeatedly promised to support any bill that limits abortion in Tennessee, so the expectation is he will sign it.
It passed the legislature yesterday.
Watch the VIDEO:
Rep. Clark Boyd told Rep. Lynn, the sponsor, that he’s “proud to see her stand in the gap for the unborn.”
The trigger ban would take effect within 30 days if the Supreme Court does overturn Roe v. Wade, which is what many warned about when Trump nominated Judge Kavanaugh.
Reps Gloria Johnson and Bo Mitchell expressed concern that the bill would force a woman to carry her rapist’s baby to term, since there is no exception for rape, or incest.
Rep. Johnson said:
“It doesn’t stop abortions, it stops safe abortions… If you don’t think a woman should be in control of her own health decisions, you don’t believe women are equal.”
Rep. John Ray Clemmons also spoke up, pointing out the “hypocrisy” of Rep. Holt & Co. talking about “science” when they don’t believe in global warming, and calling themselves “pro-life:”while they continue to block medicaid expansion in Tennessee, which has cost the state $7 Billion and counting.
On Monday the Senate rejected a push to revive The Heartbeat Bill, which would ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected – as early as six weeks into pregnancy.
They will review the issue this summer and consider it next year. If you have an issue with any or all of this, holler at your reps.
Rep. London Lamar’s bill to give pregnant Hope Scholarship high schoolers more time with their babies before having to go to college passed with bipartisan support, after Lamar and Rep. Antonio Parkinson reminded the committee of its “pro-life” nature, and pointed out that the intention of the bill is to make it so that underprivileged girls aren’t forced to choose between their child and their education.
There was pushback both from the representative from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) in his testimony, and from Chairman Mark White (R), who claimed that allowing this concession to pregnant teens would open up the process to people with other medical issues – like depression and mononucleosis.
Lamar pushed back by stating the obvious:
“Pregnancy is not the same as depression.”
Lamar had support from an unlikely source in Speaker Pro Tempore Bill Dunn (R), who agreed that pregnancy is different than the other medical issues Brought up, and appreciated that the bill would keep pregnant teenagers from having to choose between their children and their education.
Rep. Antonio Parkinson (D) had the last word in support, saying that pro-life legislators needed to be consistent and support this bill.
“If we are going to be in a pro-life culture we need to, at a minimum, give people the tools to make pro-life decisions.”
He then called on anyone who supported the Heartbeat Bill to support the legislation.
The bill passed 14-6.
HB0689 by Lamar – HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE:
Rec. for pass; ref to Government Operations Committee 4/3/2019
Representatives voting aye were: Baum, Byrd, Coley, DeBerry, Dixie, Dunn, Hodges, Hurt, Love, Moody, Parkinson, Vaughan, Williams, Windle — 14.
Representatives voting no were: Cochran, Haston, Leatherwood, Sexton J, Weaver, White — 6.
Today Tennessee Republicans passed the “Heartbeat Bill”, which would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected – generally around 6 weeks into a pregnancy – by a 67-21 vote, with 7 abstentions.
The bill makes no exceptions for rape or incest, meaning even a teenager impregnated after being raped by her basketball coach would have to carry the baby to term.
Rep. Micah Van Huss, who carried the bill, famously said he “could not find the evil” in that scenario.
The passage of the bill was contentious. Rep. London Lamar stood up and objected, saying as the only woman of child-bearing age she should have more say over what happens to her body than the mostly male TN House.
From Rep. Lamar London:
Rape and incest are inhumane. No woman should have to carry her rapist child. Not only would this cause the woman to seek illegal and unhealthy means to get rid of the child, but you also will physically, mentally and emotionally harm the woman and child.
— State Rep. London Lamar (@LondonLamarTN) March 7, 2019
Rep. Gloria Johnson also stood to talk, and was the only female Rep with an amendment scheduled to be heard, but was ignored, as was her amendment for the bill which would have allowed for exceptions in the cases of rape and incest.
Republicans prevented Rep. Johnson from speaking up for Tennessee’s women. What are they afraid of?
Needless to say, REP. GLORIA JOHNSON WILL NOT BE SILENCED. pic.twitter.com/wJM15pWQFT
— Michael Stewart (@RepMikeStewart) March 7, 2019
Johnson followed all the protocol to have her amendment heard, and it was on the schedule, but Speaker Casada – who has admitted that he has taken the lead on this legislation in the hopes that it will end up in front of the Supreme Court – adjourned, then came back and ignored Johnson’s amendment.
When I got to my desk on the floor this morning, this packet was on my desk and every desk on the floor. Please note “Amendments that will be heard on the calendar today.” My bill is there. They recessed and Speaker refused to hear my amendment. Then refused to allow me to speak. pic.twitter.com/Tvl8zoUZEk
— Gloria Johnson (@VoteGloriaJ) March 7, 2019
These bills are unconstitutional, as even the committee lawyer admitted.
Women were outside in the hallway protesting the bill loudly.
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) March 7, 2019
Here are some other reactions:
State Senator Jeff Yarbro:
This is a bill so obviously unconstitutional that TN Right to Life opposed it. Legislators are bound to uphold the Constitution, and today’s vote wasn’t that.
Rather than spending state $ defending an invalid law, maybe we could focus on improving the lives of citizens. https://t.co/mV3zWQ5eIC
— Jeff Yarbro (@yarbro) March 7, 2019
State Rep. John Ray Clemmons:
Today, my colleague @VoteGloriaJ was prepared to stand tall & speak up for TN women’s access to reproductive #healthcare services. Unfortunately, she and others, including me, were prevented from speaking & asking the sponsor of fetal heartbeat bill questions. pic.twitter.com/XljJEZFxqr
— John Ray Clemmons (@JRClemmons) March 7, 2019
If you believe Speaker Casada silencing Rep. Johnson was wrong, and that women should have a say in what happens to their bodies, holler at him HERE.
Yesterday at a Health Committee hearing Rep. Micah Van Huss (R) once again presented his “Heartbeat Bill” – HB 0077 – and reiterated that the bill, which outlaws abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, often around 6 weeks, does not provide exceptions for rape and incest.
Critics note that many women don’t know they’re pregnant until after 6 weeks, particularly in the case of an unplanned pregnancy, and that the committee is almost entirely male.
Van Huss made headlines last week with his responses to questions from Rep. Vincent Dixie (D), saying that incest is “either consensual or rape” implying that incest should not be included in the abortion exemption conversation, and that rape was a “sin” of both the father and mother that the “baby” should not pay for.
At today’s hearing Dixie and Van Huss again went toe to toe, and again Van Huss gave an answer that elicited gasps from the audience when Dixie presented a detailed scenario in which a high school basketball player was raped by her coach, impregnated, and forced to carry his baby to term.
Dixie asked Van Huss if he can find the evil in that scenario, to which Van Huss replied:
“I cannot. Because the evil I find is what you left out. I don’t believe it’s right to rip an innocent baby limb from limb.”
Watch the video here:
HB 0077 does not provide exceptions for rape and incest. It forces a woman to carry her rapist’s baby to term, and would make it a Class C felony for a doctor to perform an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.
The bill passed 15-4 along party lines, with only 3 women voting. It will now be voted on by the legislature.
The bill has been called “constitutionally suspect” by the committee attorney and the attorney general has also questioned its constitutionality, which means costly legal battles are ahead which the taxpayers of Tennessee would be on the hook for.
Time to holler at your reps loud and clear.