Saturday, March 9, 2019

The Fetal Heartbeat Bill will not withstand a constitutional challenge and does not deserve to pass.

In a yesterday blog post, I gave a "Hallelujah" to news that the Tennessee state House had advanced the Fetal Heartbeat Bill, that would ban abortion after the detection of a heartbeat and make it a crime for a doctor to perform such abortions.  I spoke too soon.

The bill is almost certainly a bad bill that will not withstand a legal challenge. That is the view of David Fowler of The Family Action Council of Tennessee (FACT).  Fact is a social conservative advocacy organization that has been in existence for over twelve years.  David Fowler is an attorney and served 12 years in the State senate and is Executive Director of the organization.  FACT is the organization that is the force behind much of the pro-life, pro-marriage and pro-family legislation that passes in the Tennessee legislature. Fact also fights in court to defend those position and to beat back progressive overreach.  There is no one more pro-life than David Fowler. If David Fowler says the bill is a bad bill, I believe it.

Yesterday in a blog post titled "Is the Fetal Heartbeat Bill Viable?," David explained why the Fetal Heartbeat Bill is a wasted effort and almost certainly likely to be overturned in the Courts. He explains that in the last abortion bill that went before the Supreme Court, the court laid out what the Court would look for in future cases in order to consider a challenge to the precedent of Roe v. Wade. David says this legislation addresses none of those points.  He said if he served in the State legislature he would have been one of those who would have abstained from voting for the bill. I recommend you read his article.

I understand wanting to take a stand for life, but it does no good to pass a bill when you know before it is ever passed that it will be overturned in the Court. David, in his article, does not argue for doing nothing but says the legislature needs to build an arguable rational for any anti-abortion bill they pass that will provide some grounds to defend it in the courts.

I know some pro-life advocates can be very passionate and to save the lives of unborn children is something to be passionate about.  There is however a difference between being passionate and irrational.  On Facebook, I have seen some pro-life advocates denouncing those representatives who abstained on the bill and calling for those people to be primarried. Those who abstained showed courage in resisting popular passion and doing something that would feel good but accomplish nothing.  It is good to be principled and passionate, but if not tempered by a little pragmatism it is wasted energy.

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