Tennessee's gubernatorial candidates answers to video question 5

Go to the 2018 Gubernatorial Videos main page to find out more about the letter we sent, the questions we asked, and the process we followed in making sure as many candidates as possible participated in this video voter guide.

The third week in February, the Family Action Council of Tennessee (FACT) sent letters to all the gubernatorial candidates, both the Democratic candidates and the Republican candidates, asking them to participate in our video voter guide. Those candidates included (in alphabetical order): Diane Black, Randy Boyd, Karl Dean, Craig Fitzhugh, Beth Harwell, Bill Lee, and Kay White. Participants who followed our guidelines and answered all 9 questions include Diane Black, Randy Boyd, Bill Lee, and Kay White.

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If Roe v. Wade were ever overturned, what law or laws regarding abortion would you be willing to encourage the Legislature to enact and why?


Diane Black’s answer transcribed from video

Would that not be a day of celebration! You know, David, that that has been the core of who I am. And probably, if someone were to ask, what do you think that Diane Black’s greatest accomplishments have been since she was in both the state Legislature and now in Congress? it has been life.

I am very proud when I got to Congress that I was asked to carry a bill for life right away. And I actually said to the leadership I don’t feel comfortable with doing that—not because I don’t feel comfortable with the subject matter, because it is near and dear to my heart especially as a nurse who has brought life into the world and held it in their hand—but just because I didn’t have the seniority. But they asked me to carry that legislation because I am so pro-life.

And I had had the opportunity to make significant measures here in our state as we worked together on the whole issue of being able to get Amendment 1 on the ballot. SJR 127—carried it in the House. I carried it in the Senate. And that was a glorious day, even though I was in Congress and could not celebrate it as being a legislator in the state when that was passed to restore the commonsense protections for women who do choose abortion.

So, I would love the see the day, I revel in the day, I pray for the day that we as a nation will honor what God has given us. And when He says He knew us before He placed us in the womb, He says it in the Bible, and I believe that to be true. It is the truth. And I would love to see it overturned.

In the meantime, what can we do to protect life as much as we possibly can? And I am proud to say in Congress I have been the sponsor of the Pain Capable bill so that at 20 weeks there could not be an abortion done after 20 weeks because we know that the baby –I don’t even call them a fetus. It is a baby –that that baby feels pain.

This last year I sponsored a bill, the Conscience Rights Act, that said that if you are a healthcare worker, that your employer can’t demand that you participate in that procedure of abortion, of killing a life.

So, I would look at the kinds of things we could do here in our state that would once again continue to protect a baby. But I would, more than that, celebrate that we were finally doing what the Lord tells us to do, and that is to protect the most vulnerable.


Randy Boyd’s answer transcribed from video

As a man of faith with strong pro-life values, I will fight for policies that protect the unborn, including ones that make Tennessee the most adoption-friendly state in the country.


Bill Lee’s answer transcribed from video

I feel very strongly that life begins at conception. It’s very personal to me. My wife and I had a pregnancy early on in our marriage. There was a test down that indicated there might be a severe birth defect and we were presented with a choice to terminate that pregnancy. For us as Believers, there was no choice. And that child is now an adult with three kids of her own. The bottom line is I am strongly pro-life. And as Governor, I will support laws that reduce the number of abortions in Tennessee.


Kay White’s answer transcribed from video

Well, David, as Governor, I would tell our Legislature in Tennessee abortion is wrong on all counts. The only, only exception would be if a doctor determined that the life of the mother were endangered, and that decision had to be made by that family and by the woman herself. Do I want to give life, or do I want to take the chance that my life will be lost in the process?

I’m a mother, you know. I have given birth to five children. I have lost two babies, and I know that I’ll see them again in heaven. So, I believe that if that question had ever been proposed to me, Do you want us to abort the baby or do you want to risk your own life? David, I would have chosen my baby, because I’ve lived my life. Pretty much, even back then, my other children had need of me as a mother, but I still would have felt that God would not have let me conceive if He had not meant for that child to be born. And I am very, very strong on pro-life.

I think that people will really regret someday when they realize that they had murdered their own child. In fact, I have spoken with young women about this, David, who have asked me over and over, Will God forgive me? And my answer to those people are, What did He say to the man as He hung on the cross? That was a murderer. He said, “Father, forgive them.” That was talking about the people who were crucifying Him. But the man that asked His forgiveness, He said, “Today you will be with Me in paradise.” And I believe that if we ask forgiveness, no matter what we’ve done, God never turns a deaf ear and He has a forgiving heart. And we as people, we need to be the same way. If you know someone that has committed this act, you still need to love them because it’s not up to you to forgive. You need to love them and try to show them God’s grace.