As of Monday, both the House and Senate of Tennessee have ordered the construction of a “Tennessee Monument to Unborn Children” on the capitol grounds in Nashville.
The Republican led Senate passed the bill 23-3 last Monday that will start the process of commissioning a memorial statue for unborn children. Earlier, the GOP dominant state House of Representatives approved a version of the bill 63-15. The newest version of the legislation, slightly altered in the Senate, will head back to the House for final approval before being sent to Tennessee Republican governor Bill Haslam.
The monument will not be funded by the state government or taxpayer dollars. Instead, it will be “funded by non-state sources”, the legislation states. Though there are no specifics on how the memorial will look, it will have the inscription “Tennessee Monument to Unborn Children, In Memory of the Victims of Abortion: Babies, Women, and Men,”.
According to proponents of the bill, the monument will honor all who are impacted by abortions, not just the babies lost. Bill Dunn , a Republican who sponsored the bill in the House of Representatives, explained the intentions. “While the baby can be seen as the obvious victim, the women coerced into abortion, the fathers who can’t protect their unborn child, the brothers and sisters who lose a sibling, and society as a whole who becomes coarsened because life is cheapened” also suffer from abortions, he said. The monument will pay respects to everyone who is hurt.
Republicans in favor of the monument liken aborted babies to defenseless victims, explaining that their lives are disregarded at the hands of powerful others. As of now, the Tennessee capitol grounds are home to two other monuments: a memorial to victims of slavery, and another paying respect to those killed during the Holocaust.