NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk issued a statement on Friday in which he vowed to violate Tennessee’s Human Life Protection Act in the wake of the SCOTUS decision returning the power to regulate abortion to the states.
In a statement reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Funk said, “Today’s Dobbs decision joins Dred Scott and Plessy v. Ferguson to create an unholy triumvirate of the most hateful and hurtful Supreme Court decisions that will forever stain the Court and this nation.”‘
Funk’s statement continued, using typical far-left talking points on the decision.
“Overturning Roe diminishes the citizenship of all women. Further, Dobbs dismantles legal rights of private family planning, IVF, contraception and marriage equality. This ruling disproportionately threatens the safety of women of color, poor people, the disabled and LGBTQ families,” he said.
“In 2014 and again on May 3rd of this year, the people of Davidson County elected me to enforce the laws of this state while exercising discretion to promote the public good. This power is written into the Constitution of the State of Tennessee,” he continued.
Funk then repeated his vow to violate Tennessee state law.
“I stated on September 24, 2020, I will not prosecute any woman who chooses to have a medical procedure to terminate a pregnancy or any medical doctor who performs this procedure at the request of their patient.
I will use my constitutional powers to protect women, health providers and those making personal health decisions,” he said.
The law that Funk has now repeatedly vowed to violate is the Human Life Protection Act, which became law in 2019.
It contained a trigger provision, which says:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, this act shall become effective, and to the extent permitted, on the thirtieth day following the occurrence of either of the following circumstances: (1) The issuance of the judgment in any decision of the United States Supreme Court which overrules, in whole or in part, Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), as modified by Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992), thereby restoring to the states their authority to prohibit abortion; or
(2) Adoption of an amendment to the United States Constitution which, in whole or in part, restores to the states their authority to prohibit abortion.
The law establishes criminal abortion as follows: “A person who performs or attempts to perform an abortion commits the offense of criminal abortion. Criminal abortion is a Class C felony.”
Funk’s vow may wind up being only token in nature as Tenn. Code § 8-7-106 says in part:
(1) If the district attorney general fails to attend the circuit or criminal court, or is disqualified from acting, or if there is a vacancy in the office, the court shall appoint some other attorney to supply such district attorney general’s place temporarily. The acts of such district attorney general pro tem shall be as valid as if done by the regular officer, and the district attorney general pro tem shall be entitled to the same privileges and emoluments.
(2) If a district attorney general peremptorily and categorically refuses to prosecute all instances of a criminal offense without regard to facts or circumstances, then the attorney general and reporter may petition the supreme court for appointment of a district attorney general pro tern. If the supreme court finds that the district attorney general has refused to attend and prosecute according to law, then the supreme court shall appoint some other attorney as district attorney general pro tern in the district attorney general’s place for the sole purpose of prosecuting persons accused of committing that offense. The acts of such district attorney general pro tern are valid as if done by the regular officer, and the district attorney general pro tern is entitled to the same privileges and emoluments.
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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow Aaron on GETTR, Twitter, Truth Social, and Parler.
Photo “Glenn Funk” by Office of the District Attorney General/Nashville-Davidson County. Background Photo “Tennessee State Capitol” by FaceMePLS. CC BY 2.0.