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.
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