Anti-choice activists in Tennessee were unprepared for the grilling they got from a Democratic Party lawmaker when making the case for a bill that would outlaw abortion before many women knew they were pregnant.
One of the speakers in favor of the fetal heartbeat bill was Baptist Pastor Randy Davis, who was questioned by state Sen. Katrina Robinson (D-Memphis).
“How many women executive pastors do you have in your convention?” Robinson asked Davis. “Or senior pastors.”
“None,” Davis replied.
“So is it the same ideology that restricts access to women being able to lead a congregation that leads you all to support women not being able to make a medical decision about their body?” Robinson asked.
Davis said he didn’t think the question was relevant to the abortion crackdown.
NEW: “How many WOMEN senior executive pastors do you have in your convention?”
Senator @katrinafortn asks Randy Davis of @tnbaptist if the ideology that keeps women out of leadership is why they don’t want women making their own reproductive decisions. #TNAbortionBan pic.twitter.com/8lkAmY649P
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) August 16, 2019
“Of course there’s a connection,” Hemant Mehta of the Friendly Atheist explained. “When you don’t think women have a right to certain positions in church by the very nature of their gender, it’s not a far leap to think you have the right to control their bodies, too. (It’s telling that the advocates for the bill invited five men and no women to speak on the issue.)”
Davis wasn’t the only supporter of the bill to be embarrassed by Sen. Robinson.
Another witness was Hal Rounds, who Fox 17 described as “the reported leader of the Tennessee Tea Party.”
“Rounds was then asked by Sen. Katrina Robinson (D-Memphis) at what point was a fully functional brain and heart were developed in the womb, the markers which Rounds had stated were the start of life,” Fox 17 reported. “Rounds replied by stating he did not know on the timeline but it was ‘way before what is considered viability by the Supreme Court.'”
Robinson said the correct answer was “the end of the second trimester.”
Rounds disagreed, claiming it was “way before” that.
“It’s the second trimester, I’m a nurse, what are you?” Robinson asked.
Rounds also raised eyebrows at the hearing by claiming he could remember being born.