After midterms, states weighing abortion protections, bans sought by antiabortion activists
By R.W. Apple Jr.
November 13, 2019/6:00 PM
Pro-lifers and antiabortion activists gathered in the state Capitol building today for the annual National Women’s March. There are signs calling for an abortion ban, although several lawmakers, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, have said that he doesn’t want to ban abortion.
But in a nod to antiabortion groups, a number of demonstrators carried signs that read “Choose Life” as many demonstrators on both sides called for a legislative and an executive branch ban on abortions.
In Tennessee, State Rep. David Byrd, R-Spring Hill, called abortion a “violent life ending crime,” and said if abortions were banned, the state would need to “start a new war.”
In his speech, he said the U.S. Supreme Court has “definitely opened a door into a place of hell for a woman to go.”
He compared abortion to the internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II.
“This could be a war to end all wars,” he said. “Imagine if you were an American in the war and you were caught in a bombing raid or something horrible happened, and you were found out and we tried you for espionage.”
“Imagine if you were in the same situation — maybe you were a woman — and it was your husband, maybe it was your children or maybe it was another woman. What would you not do?” he said.
“I believe that the same principles apply to the woman who chooses life. The same fundamental rights and freedoms that we have as Americans applies to every life that is created and then chooses to not be born,” said Byrd.
In his 10-page bill titled “The Life with Dignity Protection Act of 2019,” the lawmaker says the measure will give Tennessee women “the same rights and protections under the law as their male counterparts without requiring the use of any state-funded abortion facility or facility in another state.”
“I know the opposition is claiming that if we do it, there’s not going to be any abortion but that claim doesn’t factor into this, because we’re not really talking about abortion,” he said.