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By Pro Life in TN
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25 years after a case in East TN made history....the people of TN are poised to regain their voice

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Big Blue Wave (Canada) had a post that caught my eye as it has a direct impact on Tennessee and the upcoming vote for Yes on One.

“In 1989, Mary Sue and Junior Davis went to divorce court, and they disagreed over the fate of their frozen embryos. Mary Sue wanted to keep them to implant; Junior Davis wanted them destroyed.

No less an expert than Dr. Jerome Lejeune was invoked as an expert witness to testify that life begins at conception.

The judge presiding the case, Judge W. Dale Young, granted custody of the embryos to Mary Sue Davis. Based on the expert testimony of Dr. Jerome Lejeune, he became the first judge in US history to affirm that “life begins at conception.” (According to the news article).

The Appeals Court, and the High Court of the State of Tennessee subsequently reversed the judgments, disregarding Jerome Lejeune’s testimony.”

Now what is this all about….. well a recap of the story that occurred in East TN 25 years ago has a big impact on the upcoming election in Tennessee in 2014. The story is of a couple who used IVF to attempt to build their family. They did not have success with their IVF treatments and the marriage ended in divorce. At that time, there remained seven frozen “pre embryos.” The couple fought over the custody of the embryos and their future. Mr. Davis wanted them destroyed while Mrs. Davis wanted to preserve them for implantation attempts in the future.

“Dr. Jerome LeJeune, a physician and geneticist from France, arguably gave the most crucial testimony of the trial, stating that the four-to eight-cell entities were early human beings and could be called either embryos or pre-embryos.

LeJeune said during his testimony that he was deeply moved by Mary Sue Davis’ attempts to retain custody of the pre-embryos, and compared the court battle to the Old Testament story in the Bible in which Solomon discovered the true mother of a baby because the mother would prefer the baby alive with someone else rather than not have it alive at all.

“If she is not entitled to give this shelter to these early human beings, she would prefer they be given to another shelter outside their ‘frozen concentration camp,’” LeJeune said. “A woman’s womb is a secret temple.”

Mary Sue Davis was awarded custody of the pre-embryos for use in future implantation attempts. The court also acknowledged LeJeune’s theory that human life begins at conception and that pre-embryos are human beings.  Fast forward, Mr. Davis appealed and it ended up in the TN Supreme Court which overturned this decision and granted Mr. Davis the right to have them destroyed.

Now in Nashville, the Executive Director of the ACLU, Hedy Weinberg read that ruling and decided that if the TN Supreme Court had that mindset, it might just be the time for her and Planned Parenthood of East and Middle Tennessee to sue the state to remove the regulations around abortion that had been voted into place by the bi partisan elected legislators. 

On September 15, 2000 in a 4-1 decision they were successful in striking down three regulations around abortion…informed consent, waiting periods and that later term abortions had to be done in hospital settings. Boom…. just like that they were out. As a special present to them the justices said that the state constitution held a broad right to abortion….more liberal than the federal court decision legalizing abortion in America!

Two years later, a fellow abortionist who operated two facilities sued using the 2000 decision as a precedent and won saying the abortion facilities did not have to meet the requirement of other same day surgery centers and undergo annual inspections by the DOH. Bonanza for Big Abortion!!

The dissenting judge advised the people of TN that they should enact a constitution amendment stating that our constitution is neutral on the issue of abortion so the people could once again use their elected legislators to put regulations around abortion and return TN to being known as the volunteer state as opposed to the abortion destination of the Southeast.

That vote will take place on November 4, 2014, twenty five years after the original case in East Tennessee. It is fascinating,  but also sad to see how the courts were used to silence the will of the people.  But our day is coming…

Vote yes on One to restore the voice of the people of Tennessee and protect our rights…..


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