The Tennessee House last week voted 80-18 to make miscarriage — or the killing of any fertilized egg — murder. Last night, the Tennessee Senate passed by a 28-2 margin a companion version of the bill. The bill specifically includes all embryos “at any state of gestation in utero.” Tennessee’s Republican Governor Bill Haslam has not indicated if he will sign the bill. To be clear, this bill goes further than covering, say, a violent attacker harming an expectant mother who then, unfortunately, miscarries. This bill, House Bill 3517 and the Senate’s companion, makes anyone’s actions that presumably cause a miscarriage murder. Opponents of the bill question how law enforcement would actually enforce this law or determine if someone’s action was a direct cause of a miscarriage.I don't have the words. In related news:
Memphis, Tennessee The state's Republican-controlled legislature sure is great at enacting laws that they claim are in the interest of their "pro life" ideals. A law barring women who live far from abortion providers from getting prescriptions for RU-486 was signed into law earlier this month, and laws already exist requiring minors receive parental consent before terminating their own pregnancies. With so much pro-life dick swinging going on in the halls of Tennessee government, you'd think that they'd be interested in helping babies after they were born, too. Nope! Shelby County, Tennessee is a great place to go if you're interested in being in a place where a lot of babies die. With an infant mortality rate of 12.8 per 1,000 live births, the area encompassing downtown Memphis has an infant mortality rate almost 50% higher than the rest of the state, which itself has an infant mortality higher than every other state in the country. It's even worse for black women — babies born to black women have an infant mortality rate of 17.8 per 1,000 live births — a statistic that's nothing short of a shameful reflection of the heartless hypocrisy of a "pro life" state.Lawmakers in Tennessee don't give a shit about you when you are alive, unless you are a rich Republican. But if you aren't born these assholes are going to protect you with the full extent of the law. These are the people that give Tennesseans and Christians a bad name. And while I'm glad to see Andrew Sullivan voice his dislike of the "War on Women" rhetoric that I denounced weeks ago, I agree with him that these actions against women are undeniable and disgusting.