Editor’s Note: This article will be updated as more information becomes available.
Compiled by B&R staff
The announcement apparently means that Senate Bill 1236, which would have protected life from conception, will not be considered by the Senate this year.
The new approach announced by Lee will include abortion restrictions including requiring an ultrasound to be shown to a woman seeking an abortion and a ban on abortions based on race, sex or a Down syndrome diagnosis or diagnosis of a fetal abnormality, news agencies reported.
Lee’s announcement included support from Lt. Gov. Randy McNally who publicly opposed SB 1236 last year. In a statement released to The Tennessean, McNally said he was “ecstatic” to support the bill wholeheartedly and without reservation.”
House speaker Cameron Sexton also released a statement, noting that “we are looking forward to working with him (Gov. Lee) and his team on this issue, as well as his legislative vision. I know members of the House and the chairman are eager to review the proposed language and continue their strong support for life.
Randy C. Davis, president and executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, initiated a “I Stand for Life” campaign last year in support of SB 1236. “I am very thankful for the involvement and a very strong response from Tennessee Baptists to SB 1236,” he said. “We had more than 22,000 Tennessee Baptists who signed the petition we launched in support of the bill. I’m proud so many from our TBC churches stood with us and stand for life.
“While we are disappointed that SB 1236 — which clearly defined life beginning at conception and had the best path to overturning Roe v. Wade — will not move forward, we support our pro-life governor and support any efforts to stem the tide of abortions in Tennessee.
“We will closely monitor developments to see how the proposed pro-life bills progress through the legislative process and to see if similar bills emerge.”
Earlier this week prior to Lee’s announcement, Davis sent a letter to Tennessee Baptists via e-mail, urging them to contact their state senators to seek their support for SB 1236. Davis still encourages Tennessee Baptists to contact their senators and express their desire to see a law passed that protects unborn children. B&R