Last week, the Tennessee state legislature began pushing for a total abortion ban, similar to those enacted (and blocked, struck down, or challenged) in states like Georgia, Arkansas, and Kentucky. (The goal of SB 1236, as with most other state-level abortion bans, is to escalate a fight to the Supreme Court and to ultimately overturn Roe v. Wade.) Over the course of two days, lawmakers debated expanding a currently proposed “heartbeat” bill to ban abortion upon the medical detection of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone associated with pregnancy that can appear in blood tests within 11 days of conception, without exceptions for rape or incest.
To give you a sense of what sort of man is gunning for this legislation, Republican State Senator Mark Pody, who sponsored the bill, told CNN, “I still have not heard a valid argument in terms of why one bad act should kill somebody else.” At its core this line of thinking has always been about curtailing the bodily autonomy of women and nonbinary people, backed by men who devalue living adult pregnant people in favor of a hypothetical fetus. (Also, Pody’s express goal in introducing SB 1236 was to go “against Satan.” Separation of church and state, baby!)
All that’s pretty standard stuff, though, when you compare it to the testimony of Hal Rounds, the 75-year-old President of the Fayette Republican Club, who last week told the Tennessee Senate that he had a distinct memory of being born, despite scientific evidence that fetuses do not experience consciousness. Per WMC Action News, Rounds testified:
“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.”
Interestingly enough, I, too have a sudden urgent pressure to burst out right now, as well. Rounds’s self-proclaimed recollection of his birth sounds more like an interpretation of what an adult human would conceive birth to be after watching a couple of movies. But it all came to him in a dream, he said: “I had this dream repeatedly through my youth and one day I said you know, that’s kind of like being born. And the dreams stopped.” Another name for a sudden urgent pressure while dreaming is “nocturnal emission,” but they don’t teach sex education in schools anymore, so it’s understandable that Rounds is a bit confused.
Thankfully, after this bizarre and maybe slightly horny proclamation, state Senator Katrina Robinson was on the stand to utterly own Rounds, per WMC News:
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.
What are you, indeed! The Tennessee legislature will vote on SB 1236 in January of 2020, during the regular session.