And congratulations are in order because today’s your day – the day you finally land that Great White Whale; the one you’ve stalked since 1973 that sticks a fork in Roe v Wade and finally outlaws abortion in the state of Tennessee – any and all abortions.
And like Captain Ahab (whose narrator asked us to call him Ishmael on Page One of Melville’s “Moby-Dick”) it’s going to drag you down with it, because you must claim it all.
Don’t try to say that it will still be legal when necessary to save the life of the mother. That’s just craven, as illustrated by the exchange between Republican operative Susan Richardson Williams and Democrat Don Bosch on Sunday’s “Inside Tennessee.” Williams claimed that the bill will allow abortion to save the life of the mother. Bosch corrected her: there is no exemption. I called him later this week and he expanded on this explanation for me: “What there is, is an ‘affirmative defense’ that kicks in after a doctor’s been charged with criminal abortion, likely lost his/her job, his/her malpractice insurance, his/her patient base, maybe had his/her medical license revoked, has paid for a criminal defense attorney and is able to successfully raise this affirmative defense.
Only then can he or she be cleared. And it doesn’t give the woman any say at all.
“It is one of the most draconian abortion trigger laws in the country, and I truly believe that a majority of the legislature did not understand this statute. I am hearing that many Republicans are having second thoughts.”
Betty Bean writes a Thursday opinion column for KnoxTNToday.com.