Proposal argues that state subsidies offered for conducting abortions violate the First Amendment

Oak Ridge Republican Representative John Ragan sponsored legislation HB1490 which argues that state subsidies offered for conducting abortions violate the First Amendment. The Tennessee House on April 8 advanced the debate on the argument that tax-funded abortion activities favor the secular humanism religion, putting the latter above all other belief systems. Secular humanism is described as a belief that humans are moral and capable of self-fulfillment without believing in any God.

Ragan himself claims the bill has a secure base. He pointed out as per the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court that atheism is a religion. Ragan said, as per secular humanism, humans are the “highest judge,” and “Given the Supreme Court’s ruling, secular humanism should be considered an outgrowth of humanism.” He pointed out the decision clearly stated that abortion is not to be considered as any immorality nor homicide. This is the reason that organizations which fund abortions are favoring one religion above all others, which is inadmissible per federal law.

The bill put forward by Ragan went on to describe how those who are disbelievers of secular humanism are compelled to permit convenience abortions which violates their consciences. They are unhappy their tax dollars are used to fund such programs. The Republican-dominant House advanced the bill but not before a stiff debate occurred between Ragan and Democratic lawmakers over the proposal’s appropriateness. Democrats raised several concerns regarding the measure’s description of “convenience abortion.” The bill defines the term as an elective abortion which is not done with the intent to save the life of the mother, ectopic pregnancy removal, or abortion of an “unborn child” due to incest or rape.

HB1490 warns organizations offering “convenience abortions” chip away at community standards as they push promiscuity and also normalize a few beliefs concerning sex when the policy of the state should favor childbirth.

Representative John Ray Clemmons, a Democrat elected from Nashville, was livid by the bill. He asked the Republican sponsor from “what garbage” he pulled the definition out of and from which state he copied it. Regan replied “I would invite my esteemed colleague from Nashville to perhaps use more respectful language when addressing someone in this well concerning a bill. I did not pull this out of any trash can. And from that, I don’t think the rest of your question deserves an answer.”

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