Mid-South political leader testifies remembering birth during abortion bill debate

Hal Rounds (source: Tennessee General Assembly)
Hal Rounds (source: Tennessee General Assembly)
Updated: Aug. 16, 2019 at 6:00 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - One Mid-South political leader gave lawmakers a lot to think about when he dropped a bombshell during the Summer Study session in Nashville.

Hal Rounds of the West Fayette County Republican Party said he remembers being in his mother’s womb.

Rounds was one of a slew of people who testified before the Judiciary committee Tuesday about Senate Bill 1236, also known as the Fetal Heartbeat Bill.

“I have a conceptual memory of being born,” said Rounds. “In the womb there is a sensation of compression and advancement against one side and another and sudden urgent pressure to burst out.”

Rounds said he had a dream throughout his youth and one day he realized the dream was like being born and that’s when the dreams stopped.

“I believe that the consciousness of the child begun in the womb,” said Rounds. “And when you kill a child, you are killing a person that is not just aware of nothing, but being a person.”

Senate Bill 1236 would ban abortions after a heartbeat is detected except in certain medical emergencies.

Medical professional say the heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks.

Memphis state senator Katrina Robinson asked Rounds during the hearing when a fully functioning heart and brain develops in the womb, since Rounds testified both factors were necessary to determine life.

“Way before what is considered viability by the Supreme Court," Rounds responded.

“It’s the end of the second trimester sir. I’m a nurse, what are you," said Robinson.

A version the Fetal Heartbeat bill passed in the house this past legislative session, but failed in the Senate. The senate opted to send it to “summer study.”

Cherise Scott, CEO and founder of the Memphis non-profit Sister Reach, also testified Tuesday but was abruptly cut off about 6 minutes into her allotted 10 minutes to speak.

Scott says she was asked to leave because they thought she was speaking off topic.

“We can split hairs over when does life begin or we can ensure that the woman who is carrying the child has access to an abundant life,” said Scott.

For nearly 15 years, Scott says her non-profit has looked to change the overall culture of abortion to focus on Mom and Baby.

She says the abortion debate should surround women’s overall sexual health, including access to healthcare and contraception.

“What does it look like for a victim of domestic violence to control her own fertility,” said Scott. “If they’re going to say that they are interested in saving our babies in our lives then why then shut down a black woman for being able to inform what that should and could look like.”

This week’s abortion debate is a clear sign of just how complicated this issue will be this upcoming legislative session which starts January 14th, 2020.

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