Politics & Policy

Tennessee Set to Erect Monument to Victims of Abortion

Pro-life activists gather outside the Supreme Court for the National March for Life rally in Washington, DC, January 27, 2017. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters)

The Tennessee Senate passed a bill on Monday ordering a monument honoring unborn babies to be erected on the grounds of the state capitol.

The monument will remember the victims of abortion in America, including the parents of aborted babies. It will be inscribed: “Tennessee Monument to Unborn Children, In Memory of the Victims of Abortion: Babies, Women, and Men.”

The Republican majority state Senate voted 23–3 for the Capitol to “develop and implement a plan for the commissioning” of the monument. The state House, also with a GOP majority, voted 63–15 for a version of the bill last week, and will vote on it again before sending it to Republican governor Bill Haslam’s desk.

“Non-state sources” of funding, rather than taxpayer money, will be used for the monument, but it will still be erected on the grounds of the capitol in Nashville.

Tennessee built another memorial dedicated to aborted babies, the National Memorial for the Unborn, in Chattanooga in 1994. That monument is “dedicated to healing generations of pain associated with the loss of aborted and miscarried children,” according to the website.

The capitol also has memorials to the victims of slavery and of the Holocaust.

“Both of these monuments that are already here recognize that atrocities occurred because human beings were treated as less than human,” said Republican state representative Bill Dunn, who sponsored the bill. “In both cases, the vulnerable and defenseless were subjected to the will of the powerful.”

“The taking of the life of a baby in the womb is related to this brand of inhumanity.”

Dunn stressed that the memorial recognizes the pain of the secondary victims besides the baby.

“While the baby can be seen as the obvious victim, the women coerced into abortion, the fathers who can’t protect their unborn child, the brothers and sisters who lose a sibling, and society as a whole who becomes coarsened because life is cheapened,” suffer as well, Dunn said.

Over 650,000 abortions were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 2014, the most recent year for which data is available. Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, performed 321,384 abortions in the year ending in September of 2016, its annual report says.

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