The Duggar Family from TLC's "19 Kids and Counting" are speaking out against abortion, and standing up for an amendment seeking to place greater restrictions on terminations in Tennessee, which Michelle Duggar called a "baby holocaust."
Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar will be the keynote speakers at the "Heartbeats for Life" event on Monday, Nov. 4, one year before the public vote on Amendment 1 takes place, LifeNews reported.
"We are so excited to be coming to help kick off the push to get Amendment 1 passed. Since the extremely liberal state Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the state of Tennessee cannot put any regulations on abortion, Tennessee has become an abortion procedure destination," Michelle Duggar said.
"Veterinarian clinics for animals in Tennessee have higher standards in health and safety laws than there are for the abortion clinics involving human life. We must join together and end the baby holocaust that is taking place right here in Tennessee."
The "Heartbeats for Life" event is being sponsored by Heartbeat Haven pregnancy center, located in Lafayette, TN. The effort is focused on countering a Tennessee Supreme Court ruling in 2000 that increased ease of access to obtaining abortions. The proposed amendment would implement a waiting period for abortions, place greater restrictions on late-term abortions and introduce rules on what doctors are required to tell women seeking an abortion to ensure they are fully aware of the circumstances and options.
Duggar explained that most other states already have rules that state that women must be given vital information about abortion before they make a choice on the matter – while Tennessee does not even require underage girls to obtain parental consent.
Jim Bob Duggar, who served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999 to 2002 as a state legislator, called on Tennessee residents to get behind Amendment 1, so that state representatives can at least establish basic laws for unborn babies that also help protect women.
The Duggar Family, devout Christians, are now in the 12th season of their hit reality show. Michelle and Jim Bob have been married for more than 29 years and have 19 children, as the show's name suggests.
The "Heartbeats for Life" event on Nov. 4 is also poised to include a speech by Dr. Alveda King, niece of the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who has often spoken out in favor of pro-life issues.
Pro-abortion advocates in Tennessee, however, have criticized attempts to regulatethe state's abortion procedures, arguing that the amendments violate women's rights.
"Nearly 50 years after Roe v. Wade we are seeing bill after bill limiting a woman's right to choose. I find it infuriating. The government policies of late threaten to take women of our country and our state backwards. We are going to fight it," said Leah Bray Nichols, a Memphis yoga center owner, at a women's rights rally at the state Capitol in 2012.
According to a May 2012 Vanderbilt Poll of 1,002 Tennessee adults, pro-life views hold a significant majority in the state. While 23 percent of respondents said that they are definitely "pro-choice" and 14 percent were somewhat "pro-choice," 45 percent voted as definitely pro-life, and 10 percent as somewhat pro-life. Seven percent did not know or refused to answer.