NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Tennessee lawmakers and political officials have sounded off on the latest Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade allowing state’s to ban abortion, which was handed down by the highest court in the land Friday morning.
The move triggers a law that bans all abortions in the state with few exceptions in Tennessee.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R)
“Having worked alongside Tennesseans to protect the innocent lives of unborn children for years, I applaud today’s Supreme Court ruling. Despite false claims from the left, this decision will not ban abortion.
“Instead, it returns the decision to the states and empowers state legislatures with more flexibility to craft policy through the democratic process. It is unacceptable that a draft opinion was leaked in advance and that the person responsible has not been caught.
“The leaker has jeopardized the safety of our justices, and threats of violence by the radical militant mob are unacceptable. We appreciate the brave law enforcement officers working overtime to protect our justices and their families.” – Twitter
Sen. Bill Hagerty (R)
“I believe we have a moral duty to protect unborn children who cannot protect themselves. Today is a consequential day, not only for those who believe that all life is a precious gift, but also for American democracy and the rule of law. This decision doesn’t ban abortion—it simply returns decision-making on abortion to the people. That’s how it should be in a republic—matters not addressed by the Constitution should be decided by the people through their elected representatives, not by nine unelected judges in Washington, D.C. I will continue to strongly advocate for pro-life policies that safeguard our children and our families.”
U.S. Rep. John Rose (R) District 6
“Today’s ruling will ensure a brighter future for our country, one built on life and a new generation of hope. The high court was right to return this decision to state legislatures and Congress. Tens of millions of voices have been silenced since a liberal, activist court ruled, incorrectly, that the right to an abortion is implied in the 14th amendment in its 1973 decision, Roe v. Wade. There is more work to be done, and I will proudly continue the fight to protect life.”
U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D) District 9
“The Supreme Court is a clear and present danger to the rights and safety of American citizens. There is no balance or care in their radical decisions. Just blind devotion to ideological dogma.” – Twitter
Gov. Bill Lee (R)
“Today’s landmark Supreme Court decision marks the beginning of a hopeful chapter for our country. After years of heartfelt prayer & thoughtful policy, America has a historic opportunity to support women, children & strong families while reconciling the pain & loss caused by Roe. We have spent years preparing for the possibility that authority would return to the states, and Tennessee’s laws will provide the maximum possible protection for both mother and child. In the coming days we will address the full impacts of this decision for Tennessee.” – Twitter
Lt. Gov. Randy McNally (R) District 5
“This decision is a huge win for the cause of Life. For too long, abortion policy in this nation has been controlled by the federal judiciary. Now, once again, the voters of the individual states will have the ability to make policy through democratic means. In Tennessee, the voters have already made their views known through the passage of a constitutional amendment that makes clear that no right to abortion is contained in our constitution. With passage of our trigger law and a comprehensive heartbeat bill, Tennessee’s General Assembly has been well prepared for this day. Very soon the pro-life voters of Tennessee will finally see their policy preferences enshrined in law. A great day for the cause of Life and the state of Tennessee.”
State Rep. Jeremy Faison (R) District 11
“This is a good day for America, a good day for the unborn, a good day for federalism, and a good day to celebrate that the #SCOTUS can still overturn a previous unjust ruling. Tennesseans know that all life has value because we are created in the image of God.” – Twitter
State Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D) District 29
“With this one opinion, #SCOTUS has rolled back the clock on women’s rights. This decision puts the lives of women in imminent danger by handing politicians control over our most personal healthcare decisions. I’m absolutely livid and heartbroken.”
State Sen. Jeff Yarbro (D) District 21
“This is a radical Supreme Court in a hurry to roll back the clock on abortion rights, privacy rights, voting rights, with more on their reactionary agenda.” – Twitter
State Sen. Brenda Gilmore (D) District 19
“Bans off my body.” – Twitter
State Rep. Jim Cooper (D) District 5
“This has to be a wake-up call. SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade, reversing a constitutional right. That has really never happened before. Each of us values our rights differently, but they are all important, and should never be taken away. Our fears were realized with this attack on women and the rights of all Americans. Now, abortion is effectively banned in Tennessee and more than a dozen other states. This compromises the health and safety of those seeking necessary reproductive healthcare. Justice Thomas wrote that he’s prepared to overturn the rights conferred by the Court in Obergefell, Lawrence, and Griswold. It’s a dark day for our country.” – Twitter
State Rep. Karen Camper (D) District 87
“I have often said that abortion is a complicated and very personal decision. And I personally believe that we don’t spend enough time on finding solutions to the reasons why some people have to have abortions. However, this ruling means that in Tennessee, all abortions will be criminalized, including for victims of rape and incest. Women should have the right to make their own, personal healthcare decisions. This is an unfortunate decision based on politics instead of established law and, according to the vast majority of polls, the will of people.”
State Rep. Vincent Dixie (D) District 54
“This a sad day for this country. The Supreme Court was once the place that Americans could turn to for justice. The women’s movement, the civil rights movement, the disabled community and the LGBTQ community all turned to the High Court to have their basic human rights affirmed. However today, politics overruled justice. Today, the black robes of the Supreme Court turned red and politics ruled the day. Now, we have to fight back and the best place to do that is at the ballot box. We have fewer than a dozen days now to register to vote in Tennessee and I urge everyone to let their voices be heard in this year’s upcoming election.”
State Rep. John Ray Clemmons (D) District 55
“Today, the Supreme Court of the United States failed Tennessee families by overruling fifty years of judicial precedent. In so doing, the Court not only strips away a woman’s constitutional right, it also effectively robs them of their human dignity.
“As of today, women are no longer equal under the laws of these United States. Within a month, our state’s trigger law will take effect, further criminalizing health care providers and providing no exception for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.
“While our country and state have been historically (and shamefully remain) challenged when it comes to the issue of equality, the Court’s shocking and unnecessary departure from sound reason and stare decisis represents a seismic shift in the legal landscape. Given this Court’s ideology and apparent lack of respect for its own doctrines and precedent, the ripple effects of this decision could extend well beyond reproductive health care.
“We should not and cannot sit idly by and allow the Supreme Court to be final arbiter on this vital health care issue that directly affects Tennessee families. The Court has officially designated our state legislature as the battlefield, so that is where we must immediately redirect our attention and continue our fight for equality.
“I humbly ask you to join me in redoubling our efforts in Tennessee to elect state legislators who sincerely believe, like I do, that women’s rights are human rights and that the privacy of a woman’s health care decisions should be respected and left to her, her doctor, her family and her faith. Through my legislative work to protect women’s reproductive health care rights as a member of the House Health Committee over the past eight years, I have had the pleasure of working in partnership with and hearing from countless individuals, medical professionals and advocacy groups from across our entire state. Together, we are the majority. Together, we can restore our loved one’s rights and dignity. Each of us must do our part to protect the integrity of Tennessee families for generations to come.
“Elections matter. Vote.”
Tennessee House Republican Caucus
“Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling ends a 50-year-long national tragedy that deprived 63 million innocent human beings of life. For decades, Republicans have fought to advance and uphold the pro-life and pro-family values held by an overwhelming majority of Tennesseans. Today, we celebrate a momentous victory. We applaud the justices for their wisdom in recognizing a vulnerable baby still in its mother’s womb is a precious life worthy of protection. Tennessee House Republicans continue our unwavering commitment to fight for families and defend the defenseless.”
Tennessee Democratic Party
“This decision is a direct assault on the rights of Tennesseeans. The Court’s interpretation of the constitution on this issue is flawed and a direct insertion of political activism on the highest court in the land. This decision made by a conservative majority on the court, will empower a radical majority serving in state
legislatures across the country. Politicians will be even more emboldened by this decision to impose their most restrictive views on us. Today, an essential and lifesaving freedom was discarded by a court installed to protect it.” – Hendrell Remus, TNDP Chair
“We are going to keep pushing back against anti-choice representatives and legislation any chance we get. The Tennessee Democratic Party will work to support pro-choice candidates and legislators as well as abortion rights groups in state. We’re prepared to fight for the safety and autonomy of Tennesseeans.” – Brit Bender, TNDP Executive Director
Nashville Mayor John Cooper (D)
“I am horrified that the Supreme Court would overturn precedent that’s been on the books for fifty years. I remain firmly in support of protecting women’s health care and a person’s right to choose. The legislature in Tennessee has decided to make it harder for women to access the care that they need — that is not who Nashville is. We strive to be a place where everyone – no matter your zip code, race, religion, sexual orientation, income, or belief can live and thrive. It’s why people and businesses from all over the world move to Nashville. Today, I stand with the people of Nashville and Davidson County who have just had a fundamental right taken away from them.”
Freddie O’Connell (D) Metro District 19
“As someone who personally knows too many women who are the victims of sexual violence, I intend to fight to ensure that one of our core values does not become forcing motherhood through violence. We must ensure access to safe, legal abortions. As a father of two daughters, I cannot imagine living in a world where there would even be a possibility I’d have to say, ‘I’m sorry you were raped, but now you have to become the mother of your rapist’s child.'” – Twitter
Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk (D)
“Today’s Dobbs decision joins Dred Scott and Plessy v. Ferguson to create an unholy triumvirate of the most hateful and hurtful Supreme Court decisions that will forever stain the Court and this nation.
“Overturning Roe diminishes the citizenship of all women. Further, Dobbs dismantles legal rights of private family planning, IVF, contraception and marriage equality. This ruling disproportionally threatens the safety of women of color, poor people, the disabled and LGBTQ families.
“In 2014, the people of Davidson County elected me to enforce the laws of this state while exercising discretion to promote the public good. This power is written into the Constitution of the State of Tennessee.
“I stated on September 24, 2020, I will not prosecute any woman who chooses to have a medical procedure to terminate a pregnancy or any medical doctor who performs this procedure at the request of their patient.
“I will use my constitutional powers to protect women, health providers and those making personal health decisions.”