State Representative Sheila Butt (R), a Republican floor leader in the Tennessee House of Representatives blocked an amendment that would have created an exemption for victims of rape and incest to an anti-abortion bill by arguing that such cases are too difficult to confirm.
Via Huff Post:
State Rep. Sheila Butt tabled the amendment, which was proposed by Democratic Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, by saying that a bill requiring patients to wait 48 hours after a mandatory in-person counseling session shouldn’t be altered with such an exemption. The legislation does make an exemption for patients who are experiencing medical emergencies.
“This amendment appears political because we understand that in most instances this is not verifiable,” Butt said. “Let’s make sure that these women have the information and understanding to act. Madam Speaker, I move this amendment to the table.”
Fitzhugh rejected Butts’ characterization of his amendment.
“I just don’t think women take something like rape or incest lightly,” he said. “And I can’t imagine any person would take advantage of that type of situation. Fortunately or unfortunately, it may not happen much. But it is certainly a condition that women need to be protected from, and that we should not give them a more burdensome process because their pregnancy is a result of one of these two actions.”
Democratic State Rep. John Ray Clemmons said in a statement send to The Huffington Post that Butts’ comments were “disheartening.”