Pro-life East Tennesseans mark key anniversary

Tennessee Right to Life holds Prayer and Praise event to recognize Roe reversal

The East Tennessee Catholic

Catholics from the Diocese of Knoxville joined Tennessee Right to Life and the pro-life community on June 24 to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 24, 2022, that the Constitution held no right to abortion, the issue of its legality was returned to the states. Tennessee was one of a handful of states that had a “trigger law” in place that was immediately enacted. On Aug. 25, 2022, all abortions became illegal in Tennessee except to save the life of the mother.

Pro-life supporters marked the anniversary by holding a “Prayer and Praise Breakfast” at Calvary Baptist Church in Knoxville, where a congregation assembled to sing, pray, and listen to elected officials give updates on the intense abortion debate continuing to take place in Nashville and Washington, D.C., since Roe was overturned. Several county chapters of Tennessee Right to Life held similar celebrations across the state, including Chattanooga and Sevierville.

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti appeared via video and instructed those gathered on the legal implications of the “Dobbs decision,” as it is commonly called. He said, “the Constitution’s text provides no rights to an abortion, and Roe’s attempt to divine such a right cannot be defended with any textual or historical argument.” He went on to add that “Dobbs returns (the issue) to the tumult and disarray of representative democracy.”

Stacy Dunn, president of Tennessee Right to Life and a member of Holy Ghost Parish in Knoxville, added that “tumult and disarray … that is what we saw this past session when some of our representatives and senators tried to weaken and undo the law that we worked hard to pass.”

“We are celebrating that with the Dobbs decision, our Tennessee law now reflects our Tennessee values and protects the right to life of our most vulnerable citizens. The Supreme Court decision will allow pro-life Tennesseans to recommit ourselves to working for a day when abortion is unthinkable,” Mrs. Dunn said in comments leading up to the Prayer and Praise event.

Congressman Tim Burchett addressed the congregation, saying, “You realize that we have kicked a hornet’s nest.”

The representative from Knoxville recalled the day the Dobbs decision was announced and how he crossed the Capitol grounds to the U.S. Supreme Court building, against the advice of associates, and found both sides of the abortion debate intensely debating the issue.

Rep. Burchett said a high-profile, pro-abortion member of Congress also was standing amid angry pro-abortion protesters with much yelling and voicing of obscenities. Pro-life protesters, he recalled, included families and children.

Rep. Burchett reminded all in attendance at the Prayer and Praise Breakfast that the abortion issue is not settled, even with Tennessee’s law in effect.

State Rep. Jason Zachary of Knoxville told the group that “this is a battle we fight until Jesus calls us home. Washington is a disaster; we need to be on our knees praying every day. But we can rejoice to be in Tennessee, is one of the best-run states in the country. The enemy is looking to kill, steal, and destroy. He is prowling, coming after our children. This is a time for lions, and I am standing in a room of lions. This is not a time that we let up.”

Rep. Burchett applauded Tennessee representatives, including former state lawmakers Roger Kane and Bill Dunn, who were in the audience. “He was in the state legislature for 26 years fighting for these babies,” Rep. Burchett said of Mr. Dunn. The congressman also recognized the work of elected officials sitting in a front pew who helped put in place a trigger law so that when Roe v. Wade was overturned, Tennessee would be ready to protect the unborn.

Will Brewer, Tennessee Right to Life’s legislative liaison and general counsel, gave a final legislative update of the year.

Mr. Brewer, also a Holy Ghost Parish member, cited recent news coverage about Planned Parenthood and hardships the organization is facing now that abortion is illegal in Tennessee.

“This is all about poor Planned Parenthood … when will they be able to build back their palace of horror?” Mr. Brewer said, noting that a Planned Parenthood director was quoted saying, “we have been shocked at how low the numbers are” referring to lower requests for access to abortions.

“They have set up a huge infrastructure to be able to funnel women out of state for abortions, but they are horrified and saddened at the few requests they are getting,” Mr. Brewer added.

An abortion science group reported Tennessee has seen some of the most drastic declines in abortion in the country, going from 10,000 a year to zero between July 2022 and March 2023.

“We don’t need a front-page article to know that our glory goes to the Lord. He has blessed us in this cause,” Mr. Brewer said.

State Rep. Monty Fritts of Rockwood used the words of a hymn to talk about how God can turn “graves into gardens.”

He said that as a war veteran he can say, “the combat we see today is no less than the combat we saw in Baghdad. The Bible tells us that we battle not in flesh and blood. We need to pray for this nation. Psalm 127 says ‘unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.’ We are trying to build a house of life. Just as the Lord can turn graves into gardens, He can turn bones into armies.”

Comments 1

  1. Praise the Lord for all your support
    Praying daily for all those people who have saved lives 🙏

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