Protect Our Most Defenseless Tennesseans - And Response (2)

  • Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Allison Gorman, candidate for House District 26, showed her radical pro-abortion position when she invited Nikki Zite to be her expert in a recent article for The Chattanoogan. Zite is an outspoken supporter of abortion and opposes protections for unborn children in Tennessee law. She has used her “expertise” to oppose pro-life legislation in our state and was a lead plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging Tennessee’s law that protected unborn children after a heartbeat could be detected. The same bill also prohibited sex-selection abortions and those that targeted children with disabilities.  

In the entire interview, neither Zite nor Gorman ever referred to the unborn child. Although Zite is a board-certified obstetrician and admittingly cares for pregnant women, she neglected to mention the unborn child. Zite talks about ending or continuing pregnancies and often speaks of abortion as healthcare, but never mentions what happens to the child during one of her abortion procedures. 

Furthermore, Zite has been asserting for months that the Human Life Protection Act will lead to doctors being carted off to jail for saving women’s lives. She claims that caring for women with ectopic pregnancies or miscarriages will be considered criminal activity.    

That is just not the case.

The new law, which took effect Aug. 25, prohibits elective abortions. Under this law, those who perform abortion procedures where the only intent is to end the life of a human being will be prosecuted. That is what legislators intended when they passed the law.   

The law has an affirmative defense provision for those times when a physician in his or her own good faith judgment at the time determines that a mother’s life is in danger or believes there may be irreversible harm to a major bodily function. If a doctor acts in good faith under these guidelines, a prosecutor would be hard-pressed to bring criminal charges under this law.  The law also clearly states that women seeking or obtaining abortions will not be prosecuted.

Furthermore, the law requires that if a doctor determines that a mother’s life is in danger and the pregnancy should be ended, he or she must use the method that offers the best chance of survival for the unborn child. Zite and Gorman didn’t talk about that part of the law. Gorman knows that many Tennesseans are unaware of the horrific methods used to abort unborn children and if they find out she advocates for a procedure that uses such violence, she will lose votes.  Better for optics if she keeps the conversation about a procedure and not about saving children from the horror of death by abortion.    

The overwhelming majority of the duly elected members of the Tennessee General Assembly voted for this law. In good faith, they drafted a law where the lives of babies and their mothers are protected, where women are protected from prosecution, and so are doctors who are acting in good faith to save mothers and their children.

This law was meant to stop those who, for nearly 50 years, profited from aborting children and exploiting vulnerable women and girls. 

Candidate Gorman and Dr. Zite may not agree with this law, but those of us who value life and want to protect our most defenseless Tennessee citizens most certainly do. 

Candy Clepper 

* * *

Dear Ms. Clepper,

The goal of any OB/GYN is to achieve the best medical outcome for their patient. Ideally that means a successful pregnancy resulting in a healthy mom and baby. But every pregnancy comes with medical risk, and that risk can be significant in some patients. Whether or not you choose to accept this fact, abortion is sometimes the safest, most humane option for the mother.

Abortion was the medical standard of care for incomplete miscarriage 60 years ago, when my own mother had to have at least one that I know of. She had four miscarriages, all in the second trimester, and every one of them broke her heart. Had Tennessee’s abortion ban been in effect then, my mother might not have survived, and I wouldn’t be here. Neither would my three daughters or my newborn grandson.

Let me repeat: Tennessee’s current abortion ban makes 100 percent of abortions illegal. It does not protect the doctor from criminal prosecution. The doctor can use “life of the mother” as a criminal defense after being arrested and prosecuted for a class-C felony. Dr. Zite is completely in line with the medical mainstream when she says the ban will have a dangerous chilling effect on lifesaving medical care.

Dr. Zite has fearlessly spoken up on behalf of Tennesseans whose physical and emotional well-being is threatened by our state government’s political war on an issue that should never have been politicized: reproductive health care. These Tennesseans are now left "defenseless" by the state’s draconian abortion ban. They include, among others, women whose doctors will now be afraid to provide a lifesaving abortion for fear of criminal prosecution; pregnant children (rape victims by definition) who would be forced by the state to carry their rapist’s baby to term—something a child’s body cannot safely do; and women who  would be forced by the state to carry a nonviable fetus to term and go through labor and delivery just to watch the baby suffer and die.

This doesn’t fit your narrative about abortion. But it’s the truth. If more Tennessee legislators based their laws in facts and truth, all Tennesseans would be better off.

Allison Gorman

* * *

Ms. Gorman and her friends are following in the footsteps of the abortion industrial complex once again by obfuscating and outright lying about Tennessee’s abortion law. 

Let’s be 100 percent clear - Tennessee’s law prohibits elective abortions. It does not prohibit treatment for ectopic pregnancy or incomplete miscarriage. There is absolutely no language in the statute to justify Ms. Gorman’s claims, and she should know better. 

An incomplete miscarriage is a situation where the unborn baby has died in utero and has not been expelled. A D&E procedure is used to extract the remaining parts of the unborn child. It is a tragic and heartbreaking experience, but treatment for this and other pregnancy related issues simply isn’t illegal. Treatment for incomplete miscarriage is not considered an elective abortion, since the intent of an elective abortion is to end the life of a (live) human being. A D&E procedure to remove already dead fetal tissue is not prohibited by law since it does not end a human life.

Her consistent and shocking objectification and use of rape victims to justify her specific policy goal of abortion on demand is unfortunately a common talking point used by the abortion lobby. But again, she ignores reality.  Sending a rape victim to the abortion industry to kill her child and then declaring her healed of trauma is manipulative, lazy and immoral. The truly compassionate approach to pregnancy as a result of rape is to treat the real physical and psychological trauma, not to kill an innocent third party. Ms. Gorman, of all people, who stresses her care and compassion for pregnant women in hard situations, should be the fiercest advocate for this approach. 

Ms. Gorman is a leader in our community, and it is distressing to see her and others promote blatantly false, alarmist rhetoric to aid her political campaign. We should be above that. I would publicly appeal to her to stop this harmful, deceitful campaign of misinformation for the sake of the conversation surrounding abortion and unborn children, and for the dignity and integrity of being heard in our political process. 

William Reynolds

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