NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE — In 2015, conservatives in Deep Red Tennesee seriously considered making the Christian Holy Bible the official state book — eschewing the more traditional stance that states have taken to respect and not flout the First Amendment’s promise of separating religious dogma from government functions. In years past, an actual amendment to make the Bible an official state book would have been laughed-off by most conservatives, but in 2015 it was just the tip of the conservative iceberg. Later that year, the state’s governor signed a bill into law requiring women seeking abortions to wait 48 hours after consulting with their doctor before they can have the procedure done.
If a woman in Tennessee wanted an abortion and it was not deemed a “medical emergency,” she would have to consult with her doctor, and then have a mandatory 48-hour cooling off period.
“The state of Tennessee recognizes that life is supreme to all things,” State Rep. Tom Thompaulsen (R) told reporters during a recent interview about the now four-year-old law. “This law isn’t about limiting a woman’s right to choose, it’s about giving her the opportunity to stop and think before she MURDERS A BABY TO DEATH BECAUSE OF HER PERSONAL CHOICES!
Thompaulsen insists that there is nothing “unconstitutional” about asking women to “just consider the feelings of the SWEET LITTLE MURDERED BABY.” Critics say the law is harsh and puts an unnecessary barrier between an woman and her constitutionally-guaranteed right to an abortion. They also point out there is no mention of a rape exception in the bill.
“Why do liberals always focus on the rape thing,” Tennessee Rep. Billy Holdenmeyer (R) asked the media last week. “No one is saying rape is good, but is there such a problem with asking someone who just been violated in the worst, most devastating and personal way to take a timeout for 48 hours to think about whether she’d be okay carrying a rape baby to full term? This isn’t America anymore if the rights of the just conceived don’t outweigh the rights of the been here for a long time. No, I’d not want my daughter or wife or mother or sister or niece or cousin to be raped, but if they were, should we not take the rape that life handed us and make rape-ade with it?”
The Tennessee Republican explained that he “doesn’t see an issue” with restricting access abortion because “the Bible is very clear about life being sacred.” When asked if he’d be okay with a group of Muslims in Tennessee using their religious texts as justification for laws they want written, Holdenmeyer screamed “SHARIA LAW!” and ran away.
It has also been pointed out by critics of the law that while Tennessee expects a woman to wait 48 hours before she has an abortion, there is currently no waiting period imposed by the state for a handgun.
“So basically what Republicans in this state are telling women,” Democratic Rep. Sheryl Gladwell told the media, “is that a woman’s vagina is far more dangerous than a gun is.”
Holdenmeyer scoffed at Gladwell’s implication.
“Um no,” he said, “we’re saying that a woman’s uterus is more dangerous than a gun. At least if it has a tiny, parasitic organism implanted in it, of course.”
Holdenmeyer said that “as long as that baby is in her uterus, a woman simply cannot be trusted to make decisions for her own genitalia. “Also, there is no Second Amendment for abortions, so clearly the Founders were anti-abortionist Christians who wanted us to build our laws based on the Bible.”
It took four years, but a lawsuit challenging Tennessee’s waiting period for abortions is now in the hands of a federal judge, who must decide if the waiting period is effectively an unconstitutional restriction on a woman’s reproductive rights.
State Democrats, however, are not so convinced that the Bible should be the law of the land, nor do they want to sit back and just wait for the courts to rule on the law, and they mulling their own bill that, if it were ever signed into law, would put new restrictions on men’s reproductive health.
“We are proposing a cooling off period for men and their groins,” Gladwell said at her press conference. “If a man wants to get an erection in this state, he should have to wait 48 hours. We don’t think that’s a terribly long period to wait when so much is wrapped up in that erection.”
“What if that boner leads to a pregnancy,” Gladwell asked. “That pregnancy could put the woman at risk of being subjected to a state-sponsored 48 hour forfeiture of her dominion over her own body. Therefore, any erection is a potential loss of liberty to a woman, and we feel that a man should talk to a therapist and his doctor before deciding what to do with his own reproductive system.”
There is no word yet as to when Gladwell and the Democrats will bring their bill to the floor of the state legislature for debate.
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Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.