June 24 marked the first anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Roe v. Wade, and while the court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was a monumental victory for life, it was not the end of the fight.
In some ways, it was just the beginning.
Today, we have the chance to make a real difference by passing legislation that protects women and unborn babies alike.
Democrats have gone from advocating for abortions that are “safe, legal, and rare” to “abortion on demand without apology.” Not only are more Democrats for abortion, but Democratic congressional leaders are backing more extreme policies, including the abortion of full-term babies.
We are one of just seven countries in the world that allow elective abortions after 20 weeks, two of which are China and North Korea. That’s not a group we should be proud to be a part of.
It’s also a turning point that’s having serious repercussions, and that’s why states are fighting back.
To date, 25 states have honored the will of their residents and passed laws to protect the lives of unborn babies. My state of Tennessee, for example, passed a Heartbeat Bill that prohibits abortions after six weeks of gestation.
In keeping with that law, it also requires that health care providers do not refer clients for procedures that are illegal in the state (i.e., abortion). That’s a perfectly reasonable, moral, and coherent exercise of Tennessee’s governmental authority.
Yet, the Biden administration isn’t taking these pro-life laws sitting down. Tennessee’s leadership in the pro-life movement has made it a target for retaliation.
President Joe Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services recently announced that it would cancel Tennessee’s Title X funding, which has supported Tennessee families for more than five decades.
The reason? Because Tennessee is proudly a pro-life state.
Title X funding is strictly prohibited from being used to support abortion. Undeterred by that commonsense requirement, Biden’s HHS used an outdated, pre-Dobbs rule that requires Title X providers to offer abortion referrals, even though the law prohibits Title X funds from supporting abortions.
In one fell swoop, the Biden administration ignored the law and the latitude of states to protect life post-Dobbs.
It is also violating the 10th Amendment, which allows states to govern themselves on matters not enumerated in the Constitution. That’s an attack on federalism itself.
In an extreme example of putting politics above people, the Biden administration is weaponizing federal agencies in a blatant attempt to bully Tennessee into submitting to the pro-abortion agenda.
The Biden administration is depriving women of cervical cancer screenings and other important services to score cheap political points. That must be what Biden calls being “pro-woman.”
While the Biden administration attempted to hide its motives for rescinding Title X funding from Tennessee, the real reason is clear. In the more than 50 years since Tennessee has participated in the Title X program, the only substantive change that could have precipitated this revocation of funds is Tennessee’s new pro-life laws.
Punishing Tennessee simply because we choose to protect life is abhorrent, and it won’t stop with the Volunteer State.
I won’t stand by and let the radical Left and Washington bureaucrats run roughshod over Tennessee families. That’s why I introduced the States Choose Life Act, which further clarifies that refusing to refer patients for an abortion doesn’t qualify as a condition for losing federal funding.
States should be allowed to do so without suffering repercussions, financial or otherwise, from the federal government.
Scripture tells us that before we were formed in our mother’s womb, we have a God-ordained purpose. It’s our moral responsibility to protect the most vulnerable among us, and that’s what my legislation aims to do.
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