NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Sen. London Lamar (D-Memphis) has a personal relationship with abortion.
“I had a pregnancy-related stroke at 32 weeks, and I lost my kid,” she said. “But I, thankfully, survived.”
That was four years ago. But Lamar said if that happened today, she’s not sure she’d be alive.
“Something goes wrong again, I’ll die because I don’t have this life-saving procedure my doctors were able to use back in 2019,” she said.
Senate Judiciary Committee members pulled the plug or delayed several women’s healthcare bills this week, leading reporters to ask if the makeup of that committee was intentional.
“No, it wasn’t,” Lt. Gov. Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) said. “Most of the members had either requested to be on it – and there were some new slots on that committee – or were existing members on that committee.”
Sen. Ferrell Haile (R-Gallatin) sent his bill to make some exceptions for abortions in cases of rape and incest to General Subcommittee (a committee that rarely, if ever, will meet during session), effectively killing it for this session.
In an email response, Haile wrote in part, “I have surveyed the committee and do not have enough support to pass the bill.”
Sen. Richard Briggs (R-Knoxville) has a bill to change the affirmative defense clause language in the law to protect doctors if they do perform an abortion to save the life of the mother.
But this week, he delayed that until at least two weeks.
The pulls and delays are frustrating Democrats and pro-abortion organizations.
“Why are we wasting our time?” asked Rep. John Ray Clemmons (D-Nashville). “The bill, as currently adopted and passed onto the full Health Committee, is in good form.”
Some are wondering if anything abortion-related will pass this session, but Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) pumped the brakes a bit.
“Everybody’s in a little different place, but I think we’re closer than what most people think,” he told reporters Thursday. “So, we’ll see what happens over the next week or two.”
McNally and Gov. Bill Lee (R-Tennessee) have both said they’re content with the law as it stands. As the two arguably most powerful people in Tennessee, it’s a big roadblock for anyone who wants changes, like Lamar.
“I hope they’re ready to create a burial fund for all the women that they’re going to kill with this illogical ideology around abortion,” she said.