Legislators face monumental decisions on the unborn, David Crockett

A bill authorizing placement of a “Tennessee Monument to Unborn Children” on the state capitol grounds is scheduled for votes in committees of both the House and Senate next week. Also pending is a Senate decision on a House-passed bill to replace a statue of Edward Carmack that now prominently stands at the Capitol’s southern entrance with one of David Crockett.

The unborn monument bill (HB2321) is sponsored by Rep. Jerry Sexton (R-Bean Station) and Sen. Steve Southerland (R-Morristown) and has already cleared a House subcommittee. It goes before the House State Government Committee and the Senate equivalent committee on Tuesday. It declares the State Capitol Commission “shall develop and implement” a plan for the monument with public input but using only privately-donated funds.

UPDATE: The bill authorizing a monument to the unborn was approved by committees of both the House and Senate after this was originally posted. As of March 30, it’s now cleared for a floor vote in the Senate but till has to clear the Finance Committee in the House. The Crockett resolution was approved by a Senate committee and now needs only approval on the Senate floor to become effective.

From WSMV’s report on the unborn monument bill clearing subcommittee:

Sexton said the statue would recognize children who died during miscarriage or abortion.

“We have the monument to slavery and the holocaust,” said Sexton. “We don’t want these atrocities to ever happen again, so this it put in reference to those two monuments.”

… A spokesman for Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee said the organization would fight the legislation.

“The intention behind this monument is to shame women who have had abortions,” said Francie Hunt, Executive Director, Tennessee Advocates for Planned Parenthood. “And that’s the problem I have with it.”

The Crockett statute bill (HJR683, as amended) has been less controversial. It follows up on earlier legislation authorizing a statue of Crockett, the Tennessee native frontiersman and politician who died at the Alamo, by designating a location on Capitol grounds – the place where Carmack’s statute now stands.  (Carmack, who died in a 1908 gunfight near the Capitol, was a senator, newspaper editor and prohibitionist leader.)

The measure the House unanimously on March 5 under sponsorship of Rep. Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga) and is also on the Tuesday calendar of the Senate State and Local Government Committee.

The House floor debate was perhaps most notable for McCormick, when asked who would be responsible for moving Carmack’s statue, quipping:

“We’ve got some people who are expert at this from Memphis coming over”… then adding after a round of laughter from colleagues, “I’m only kidding.”

The reference, of course, was to controversy surrounding the City of Memphis’ maneuvers to remove statute of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest from former city parks – a move that has inspired several bills and much discussion this session.

And there has been monumental debate otherwise on a proposal to relocate the bodies of President James K. Polk and his wife from a tomb on the Capitol grounds to the grounds of the home in Columbia where Polk’s parents (and Polk, as a youth) lived. That measure (SJR141) passed the Senate but failed by one vote in the House – where it can be brought back for another try later in the session.

Notes: There’s already a National Monument to Unborn Children in Chattanooga, located on the grounds of a former abortion clinic. The pending bill has gained some national attention, including a  rather critical Daily Kos posting that begins by mistakenly saying it has passed the House (rather than just a sub) and has expanded quotes from Sexton, attributed to a Memphis TV station. Excerpt:

“A lot of people don’t recognize a fetus as a human being, just as a black person was less than a human being or a Jew was less than a human being.”

And if that isn’t repulsive enough, Sexton claims:

“Just like a rape victim that was, that was against a person’s will to have her virginity take away by a rapist, an unborn child’s life is taken away as well.”

There are so many things wrong with his statements that it’s hard to know where to begin or end. Comparing abortion to Black slavery and the Holocaust doesn’t even deserve a comment. But one can’t help wonder—does Sexton, in his ignorant inarticulate twang, really believe that all victims of rape are virgins?

6 Responses to Legislators face monumental decisions on the unborn, David Crockett

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    Bob Miles says:

    Construct a monument of Jesus holding a murdered baby.

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    Peggy Jackson says:

    I had a miscarriage. I have no desire to see a publicly paid for monument to either abortion or miscarriage. This is the most ridiculous misuse of our representatives’ time, and more so of our taxes.

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    Tommy Ray McAnally says:

    WHERE IS THE BILL FOR DEPORTING ALL ILLEGAL ALIENS? Maybe no one is up for reelection?

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    Tommy Ray McAnally says:

    Folks how In this world would a monument of an unborn statue even get to a vote? This is MURDER what part of this don’t you legislators understand, I see how, THE REASON FOR THIS VOTE is sponsored by Gerald McCormick the same individual that threw all Tennessee Veterans under the BUS with the Veterans Preference Passover Letter. By the way Beth Harwell,John Ragan, Ron Ramsey, JUDD MATHENY and Bii Haslam are few of the names that supported Gerald McCormick Veterans Preference Passover Letter. How does McCormick keep getting elected. All the people at Capital Hill in Nshville need to be gone folks these people on the hill are doing nothing but sitting in a rocking chair building a retirement for their selves they don’t care what you think about them. The HILL needs to be DRAINED and I am the one that will do it. GUARANTEED!

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    Randy Hendon says:

    Many of us in Memphis do not think the removal of our Monuments to Davis and Forrest is something to joke about! We are upset and angry that Tennessee has allowed this to occur – a violation of State Law! We pray that the State will act soon to restore our Statues and assume control over the Parks that were given to a sham non-profit to circumvent the existing Laws. I do not support the removal of any Monuments/Graves in Tennessee including Carmack and President Polk! History is History -leave it alone! When you have a Rogue local government – like the one in Memphis – we rely on the State to protect us and set things right! Help us please – Tennessee House and Senate – we are proud Tennesseans too and need your support! Property worth millions of dollars has been gifted.

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    David Collins says:

    Just when you think the legislature cannot come up with anything dumber than they have already done (or tried to do, they’re far too many to enumerate) someone comes up with a totally inane bill like this one. While this State has many really serious problems it could be working on, our legislators fritter away the time with nonsense like this. If you had an employee that wasted company time with such foolishness, I bet you would fire them. Aren’t you glad your tax dollars are going to fund such “monumental and grave” issues such as this?

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