TODAY’S HOLLER: TN Republicans Vote to Force Raped Kids to Give Birth
You heard us right. There are no exceptions.
Not for rape. Not for incest. Not to save a mother’s life. Nothing.
Republicans like Governor Lee continue to say there are exceptions, but they are either lying, or they haven’t read their own bill. The bill says doctors can claim they were saving the mother’s life as an “AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE”, but that means the doctor will be on trial, charged, having been arrested, and the burden will be on THEM to prove the mother was at risk as opposed to on the state.
This means doctors will have to take that into consideration when deciding to perform life-saving health care. Which means women will die. Period. We’re already seeing examples of care being withheld throughout the country.
As a TN DOCTOR said yesterday at the “Healthcare in Handcuffs” rally in NASHVILLE: “Sadly, termination of the pregnancy will put me at risk of being charged with a felony… despite misinformation, THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS… this law is dangerous to the women of Tennessee.”
During the rally one young anti-abortion loudmouth was heckling the doctors, cheering for the idea of them going to prison, so we eventually confronted him.
WATCH: “YOU’RE NOT ACTUALLY ‘PRO-LIFE’ — YOU’RE FORCED BIRTH.”
Holler founder Kanew’s confrontation with the heckler continued after it was over, driving home the point that opposing Medicaid expansion & universal health care is not “pro-life”. The heckler was 20 years old and proudly “saving himself for marriage” as he seeks to stop everyone from having sex by telling women to “close their legs” (maybe the virgin thing isn’t voluntary with that kind of talk buddy) and dismissing the Old Testament as irrelevant because numbers 5:11-30 hurts the argument he’s making since God instructs a priest to have a woman drink something which would make her miscarry if she was unfaithful, which sounds pretty abortion-y to us.
The Heckler did, however, eventually concede there should be exceptions for life of the mom.
READ THE BILL. THERE ARE NONE. If you don’t believe us, believe the Tennessean
As Rep. Gloria Johnson points out, Republicans need to fix this NO EXCEPTIONS mess by calling a special session by calling a special session: “There are 0 exceptions… that Republicans don’t understand their bill should terrify everyone. CALL A SPECIAL SESSION AND FIX THIS MESS YOU MADE THAT WILL KILL PEOPLE.”
It’s a frightening, dangerous, deadly situation that Republicans have put us in. It’s hard to know if they did it knowingly and lied about it, or if they didn’t understand the bill they passed. Neither is good. Call your reps and tell them it must be fixed.
We’ll keep yelling the truth about all this. Please consider chipping in monthly if you can. We depend on your support.
– The Holler
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JASON MARTIN: This bill is radical. There are no exceptions, even for rape or life of the mother… Governor Lee is lying or he doesn’t know what bill he signed. Either is disqualifying.” Governor candidate Dr. Jason Martin was in Nashville for the rally against the TN GOP trigger ban. He also CHALLENGED HIM TO A DEBATE.
WATCH: “That weighs on me. I voted for that bill. These are affecting people. That whole week I didn’t sleep.” S. Carolina Republican Neal Collins regrets his abortion ban vote now that life-saving care is (PREDICTABLY) being denied. #BandOffOurBodies #RoeRoeRoeYourVote
FLASHBACK: “This is gonna let a violent rapist choose the mother of his child, but not let a victim of rape to determine if she’s going to carry that child?” Rep. Lynn told Rep. Gloria Johnson the truth — that THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS in the TN GOP abortion ban… then walked it back
Kaiser Health News reporter Brett Kelman says the TN GOP abortion ban has his family thinking about leaving Really sad what this radical extremist supermajority is doing to our state.
ODESSA KELLY: “This is white supremacy. Class warfare. State-sanctioned violence… Republicans have given us a moment in time to say we defeated FASCISM.”
TN-7 candidate Odessa Kelly didn’t hold back today. Tennessee becomes a forced birth state TOMORROW. #BansOffOurBodies
As Tennessee becomes a FORCED BIRTH STATE under this Republican supermajority we just got more evidence that treating women as 2nd class citizens will getcha beat. #BansOffOurBodies
FRANKLIN, TN: “Teens teach themselves sex Ed BECAUSE THE ADULTS WON’T” TN Republicans (JACK JOHNSON) banned anything but abstinence-only education (which doesn’t work) — so now in Jack Johnson & Governor Lee’s home county teens try to protect themselves.
FLASHBACK: “FOX 17 investigation found 17 TENNESSEE REPUBLICAN lawmakers who supported unemployment cuts accepted PPP loans for their businesses — a combined $12.4 MILLION.” So spare us the student loan crocodile tears.
The White House is bringing the thunder on these Republican student debt PPP loan hypocrites
“271,000+ TENNESSEANS WILL HAVE THEIR STUDENT LOANS CANCELED UNDER BIDEN’S PLAN…” No wonder Republicans are so upset.
TRAE CROWDER: “I’d like to think experiencing a form of suffering would make you sympathetic to those in a similar plight, as opposed to resenting them when they’re relieved of it… but what do I know? I never read the Bible or nothin’.”
Williamson County pastor
SSSSSHAPIRO: We’re honored to be included in this article about tweets ripping Ben Shapiro’s loan forgiveness hypocrisy.
REMINDER: The same Republicans complaining about student debt cancellation cheered as Trump let them write off 100% OF THEIR PRIVATE JETS. (while slashing trillions in taxes for the wealthy)
PRESIDENT BIDEN: “I will never apologize for helping working Americans & the middle class — especially not to the same folks who voted for a $2 trillion tax cut that mainly benefited the wealthiest Americans and the biggest corporations.” #CancelStudentDebt
Biden’s plan to forgive student loan debt — $10,000 for anyone making under $125,000 a year, $20,000 if you went to school on Pell Grants.
REPORTER: “Is this fair to people who didn’t take out student loans?” — BIDEN MIC DROP: “Was it fair to people who didn’t own multi-million dollar businesses to watch those guys get huge tax cuts?” *moonwalks away*
The NY TIMES picks up the story of disgraced ex-speaker Glen Casada and his chief of staff Cade Cothren getting arrested by the FBI and facing 20 counts.
CASADA LEAVING THE COURTHOUSE: “Glen, do you owe Tennesseans an apology? Do you feel bad? Should the Governor be worried?” Disgraced ex-speaker Casada leaving the federal courthouse after pleading not guilty to all 20 counts… they face many years and fines, 20 count indictment includes bribery, laundering, conspiracy, kickback…
CADE COTHREN SPEAKS ON HIS WAY OUT THE COURTHOUSE AFTER PLEADING NOT GUILTY TO 20 COUNTS: “The truth will come out, Phil.” —- Or maybe it already did, Cade?
CASADA IN CUFFS REACTION: GOV. LEE – who hands out no-bid contracts like candy, didn’t remove an admitted sexual abuser, maybe offered a military promotion to pass his vouchers, betrayed teachers, etc… now has “no tolerance” for lack of integrity? LOL. #CasadaInCuffs
MUST-WATCH SUPERCUT: FOX TRASHING TEACHERS. Again — it isn’t just HILLSDALE & @GovBillLee. The war on our teachers & schools is the right-wing’s core agenda.
CHATTANOOGA: Republican school board member RHONDA THURMAN (a regular focus for us) complains “Hispanic students who speak little or no English are overwhelming Hamilton County schools” calls them a “mind-boggling burden” on schools
NOLENSVILLE advances to the Little League World Series championship to face HONOLULU Saturday (winner faces the winner of Chinese Taipei vs. Curaçao)
WATCH: “Elections are about choices. There has never been a clearer difference between 2 candidates.” TN-5 congress candidate senator Senator Heidi Campbell says she’s trying to unite while far-right extremist Mayor Andy Ogles tries to divide, and says a new internal poll has her ahead.
CARTOON OF THE DAY
This week Tennessee Dems held a press conference vowing to push back on the Republican abortion ban, and the brutality it entails. Below are some clips.
WATCH: “IT’S LEGISLATIVE VIOLENCE—women are not equal if we don’t have control over our own health decisions.” At a presser on the TN GOP extreme abortion ban Rep. Gloria Johnson says more women will die, Tennessee’s economy will get hurt as events & businesses choose other states.
TN-5 CANDIDATE SENATOR HEIDI CAMPBELL: “We’re here with you… we’re not backing down. Our Tennessee daughters deserve to grow up with the same rights & freedoms as our sons.” #BansOffOurBodies – TN Dems vowed to carry bills pushing back on the draconian, violent abortion ban.
SEN. LAMAR: “I’m devastated. I’m angry. It’s an ABOMINATION —- they never take a stand on ‘life’ outside the womb.” Senator London Lamar says the extremist TN GOP abortion ban will force rape & trafficking victims to carry to term, and Black women will be impacted most. #BansOffOurBodies
SEN. YARBRO TO TENNESSEE: “It’s time to WAKE UP.” – Yarbro rightly says TN is 1 of the most dangerous places in the developed world to get pregnant because of a brutal TN GOP supermajority, calls out Jack Johnson for minimizing rape pregnancies. (especially for young girls)
REP. CLEMMONS: “Make no mistake, they’re not going to stop here.” – John Ray Clemmons says the TN GOP will keep taking away rights until voters stand up to them, calls on men to stop hiding behind party and stick up for their families, thanks his female colleagues for their leadership.
YES, THEY WANT TO FORCE LITTLE GIRLS TO CARRY BABIES: Jim Bopp of National Right to Life – who has been to Tennessee to testify for Republicans – says YES, THE 10 YEAR OLD RAPE VICTIM SHOULD HAVE BEEN FORCED TO GIVE BIRTH. Monstrous.
This weekend Tennesseans all over marched in support of women’s rights. It was a beautiful sight to see.
Here were some of the best moments and signs we saw.
Sign of the day! #WomensMarch2022 #Nashville pic.twitter.com/lFFnGD1VYN
— Jain 🆘 (@SaintVeritas16) May 14, 2022
More good signs from today. #BansOffOurBodies pic.twitter.com/O2MasZxwbs
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) May 14, 2022
Tennesseans marched on Church Street in downtown Nashville during the #BansOffOurBody demonstration. pic.twitter.com/fSnZwgISqr
— Caroline Eggers (@Caroline_Eggers) May 14, 2022
Trust women to make their own decisions is the name of the game. Hundreds of supporters rallied for Roe today.https://t.co/HaCWnM2wgv
— The Memphis Holler (@MemphisHoller) May 14, 2022
Francie Hunt of TN Advocates Planned Parenthood joined us to walk through a Republican talking points memo on abortion and set some things straight.
LIVE: FRANCIE HUNT OF TN ADVOCATES PLANNED PARENTHOOD (on the leaked GOP messaging doc) https://t.co/JWqh9zuCIO
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) May 4, 2022
“These are the same legislators who are proposing bills that allow people to have FULL CONTROL over the FIREARMS they own.” Tory Mills of Tennessee Advocates for Planned Parenthood on the hypocrisy of Sen Mark Pody and Jerry Sexton’s bill that allows men to sue women for having an abortion.
PODCAST available on Apple Podcasts, and wherever else you like to listen.
Staunchly anti-reproductive freedom Senator JANICE BOWLING unwittingly made the case for abortion rights while fighting a UT vaccine requirement.
For a long time Tennessee Democrats have been calling for Rep. John Deberry Jr. to have the “D” next to his name removed for consistently siding with Republicans against them on many key issues. This week the Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee finally took that action and voted 41-18 with 2 abstentions to do just that.
Many have expressed relief, saying Deberry’s longtime support for the Tennessee Republican agenda has warranted removal for some time. Some have expressed skepticism, saying it should be up to the voters to decide.
Republicans such as Speaker Cameron Sexton have seized on the opportunity to attack Democrats, saying this shows they’re inflexible in their beliefs and calling out TNDP chair Mary Mancini on Twitter.
What would you have done @CSexton25 as leader of TN Republican Party if, say, the majority of @WilliamLamberth‘s campaign donations came from Democratic PACs/groups/ individuals? If he had a history of making large donations to Dem candidates? If he voted against you for speaker? https://t.co/PROohSnxXR
— Mary Mancini (@marymancini) April 9, 2020
It’s no surprise Republicans would rush to Deberry’s defense. They’ve regularly expressed gratitude to Deberry for standing with them on their anti-LGBT legislation, their anti-Reproductive rights bills, Governor Bill Lee’s public school-harming vouchers, and Secretary Tre Hargett’s voter registration criminalization bill to name a few.
They’ve even run ads in support of him. (“You tha man”, guys? Really?)
There are so many instances of Deberry standing with Republicans against progressive ideals that it’s hard to keep track – but that’s what we’re here for. Let’s take a trip down memory lane.
On Lee’s public school-harming vouchers, Deberry was the lone Democrat to vote for the bill, which passed 50-48 after a 49-49 tie was held open for 35 minutes while disgraced former speaker Glen Casada (and likely Governor Lee) handed out goodies to convince people to switch, including MILITARY PROMOTIONS.
Eventually, Rep. Jason Zachary flipped, the public school-harming vouchers passed, and the rollout has already been a lie and bribe-filled nightmare, causing even those who voted for it to regret it.
(Of course, that hasn’t stopped Lee from including $41 million for it in the “emergency budget”.)
On Reproductive freedom, Deberry has stood with Republicans repeatedly – even when their bills were unconstitutional, and even when they would force raped teenagers to carry their rapist’s baby to term. Deberry even went so far as to call abortion “BLACK GENOCIDE”, a phrase that will be hard to forget anytime soon.
Even on something as obviously oppressive as Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s voter registration criminalization bill, Deberry couldn’t bring himself to stand on the right side of history. He abstained, a decision which was promptly shown to be cowardly and wrongheaded when a federal judge blocked the law and ripped it apart in a scathing decision.
We spoke with Deberry at length after the fact, and he didn’t seem to understand what the law even did. Which is no excuse.
Then there are Deberry’s anti-LGBT beliefs, which have caused leading voices from the Tennessee LGBT community to speak out forcefully.
Eric Patton of the Human Rights campaign wrote to the TNDP committee before the vote, saying Deberry “consistently stood against women’s rights and LGBTQ rights”, “sponsored a bill to discriminate against LGBTQ youth and adults in matters of mental health”, and “verbally supported conversion therapy”.
“As a LGBTQ community leader, it is a clear decision to deny him the party’s support in his re-election. I strongly urge you to take appropriate action to deny his petition.You have a say, as a party leader, who is allowed to run as a member. DeBerry has displayed time and time again that he has no regard for the party or its platform, let alone the marginalized people it stands to protect.He shouldn’t get the help of the party. If he’s going to stand against the marginalized, he shouldn’t be standing with us.”
Republicans have been quick to knock Democrats for taking this action, but before you put any faith in the outcry, it’s important to keep in mind Republicans have done things like this before. Speaker Kent Williams was an incumbent removed by the state party. They’ve also kicked people off of ballots for not having the proper “Republican bona fides”.
(Meanwhile They’ve let admitted child sex abuser Rep. David Byrd stay in office, as well as Speaker Casada – who lied and who covered for his “N word”-using coke-snorting chief of staff, said ugly things about women, and may have framed a civil rights activist, and was removed as speaker for it… but those are stories for a different day).
Reproductive freedoms, voting rights, LGBT rights, public schools… these are not minor issues Deberry was standing with Republicans on. And as Mary Mancini said, the majority of Deberry’s campaign donations come from Republican PACs/groups/ individuals. He has a history of making large donations to Republican candidates.
The parties have the right to do these things for a reason. Deberry’s allegiance to the Republican agenda has been a useful political tool for Republicans for long enough.
Watch Lee & announce his “comprehensive pro-life legislation” – despite bumbling on details.
TN Dems call it “extreme & divisive”, “unconstitutional”, say it does nothing to help TN’s health care crisis.
It will lead to costly lawsuits. TN’s maternal mortality rate is 3rd world, yet Lee refuses $1 BILLION/year in Medicaid expansion funds. That isn’t pro-life.
There’s a lot going on right now, but we wanted to make sure to show you this remarkable post from TN GOP State Rep. Robin Smith (R-Chattanooga) in something called the Patriot Post, which was brought to our attention by former congressional candidate Chris Hale.
In the post Smith lays the rise in youth suicides at the feet of “leftist indoctrination” – apparently meaning schools, climate science, biology, and sex, coupled with her misguided sense of the Democratic platform as a whole.
Keep in mind, Smith was previously the chair of the Tennessee Republican Party, and recently ran for House caucus chair, so she’s not exactly a fringe player.
She starts out with a simple fact:
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data this past week that youth suicide rates increased 56% from 2007 to 2017 among 10- to 24-year-olds.”
Smith then notes that the author of the article says “researchers aren’t certain” what exactly the causes are… but who needs research? The causes are clear to Rep. Smith:
“The Wall Street Journal’s analysis of this report includes the statement that researchers aren’t certain of the cause, yet factors such as a “rise in depression, drug use, stress and access to firearms” along with the influence of social media are cited as areas of interest and study.
Access to firearms” is not all that different from 50 years ago, but let’s take an honest look at the cultural forces and influences on our youth and young adults today that may offer some real causation, not just correlation…”
Notice how Smith doesn’t like the “access to firearms part”, so she throws that out – claiming it hasn’t changed in 50 years, when there is absolutely no evidence that’s the case.
Proliferation of firearms in America has continued over the last 50 years, so it would stand to reason that access to firearms for teens would increase along with that. Calling something “an honest look” doesn’t make it so. But we digress.
Smith then talks about the detachment that results from phone and social media addiction before pointing the finger squarely at our schools for teaching about science in the form of climate change, biology, and sex:
“Once our kids are out the door, they’re headed to middle school, high school, or some type of instruction in a two-year college or four-year university. And what do our kids encounter in their day at these “institutions of higher learning”? Of late, the message has been that the Earth will cease to exist in less than 12 years because of climate change. Our kids are told that it’s their right to determine their own gender rather than live within the capacity of their biological being while maximizing their gifts and talents. Too many students hear that life is a wad of cells until a baby is outside the mother’s womb and wanted by both the biological donors — formerly called the mother and father.
Students of all ages hear that part of growing up is being sexually active, having access to abortion as a type of birth control and part of a female’s health care, and that choosing a life of discipline, maturity, and restraint is not possible — much less a characteristic of an individual living at the fullest extent of their “rights.”
Smith’s use of quotations around “institutions of higher learning” are reminiscent of the calls for the abolition of state-sponsored higher learning by Republican senators Kerry Roberts and Mark Pody. When asked, Roberts claimed he was joking – but it has become clearer and clearer that doing away with state-backed higher education is a popular policy position in the TN GOP.
It’s one thing not to believe in Climate science, but linking gender, climate, and not calling parents a mother and father (say what?) to youth suicide is quite the stretch.
Smith then says our schools are “populated with activists”, and points to Democratic policy proposals like health care, education, and higher wages (the horror!) as somehow causes of suicide because they make kids “wards of the state”:
“Our institutions entrusted with the high trust of academic instruction are populated with activists who are invested in more than educational excellence and accomplishment and are now turning to the playbook seen in failing cultures of sameness for the common good and a posture of dependency rather than self-reliance. Don’t believe this? With the demands for “free” college tuition, free health care, a universal wage for those who don’t even work and for the express doctrine of this sameness to guarantee no individual excels above another, the role of government metastasizes to a cancer that consumes its host to pay for those who don’t excel and aren’t driven to self-reliance. Shorter, we’re teaching kids to be wards of the State.”
So helping kids learn, see doctors, and earn more money makes them want to take their own lives. Or something. Hoo-wee.
To clarify: “Free” college tuition means we pay for it with our taxes and our kids go to school, as we already do with lower education.
“Free health care” again would mean we pay taxes, and we get what we pay for – as opposed to now where we pay taxes, and premiums, and deductibles… and many are still going broke and dying for lack of coverage, especially here in Tennessee.
And say what you will about a universal basic income proposal – which has gained little traction in the Democratic Party – but it’s worth noting Smith opposes the Democratic proposal for a “living wage”, which means raising the $7.25 an hour minimum to a number people can actually live on.
Tennessee is #1 in % of minimum wage jobs, so that would actually help a lot of people.
The upshot of all of this is that Robin Smith may disagree with things like climate science, and biology, and making sure everyone can see a doctor when they get sick, and higher education, and paying people for their work – but blaming people who support those things for youth suicides with ZERO evidence? That’s unconscionable and downright shameful.
If Smith was really as pro-life as she claims to be, she should reverse her position on not expanding medicaid, which we know is killing people, or blocking common sense gun safety reform, which is also contributing to the deaths of many.
Teen suicide is a serious issue. It’s not something to baselessly politicize for the sake of scoring cheap political points.
Holler at Rep. Smith HERE if you agree.