State Watch

Tennessee lawmaker grills Republican who claimed to remember being born while arguing for abortion law

A Democratic state lawmaker in Tennessee grilled a Republican man who claimed to remember his own birth during a hearing on legislation to ban abortions in the state once a fetus's heartbeat is detectable. 

The footage was captured during a hearing held by the state's General Assembly earlier this week, in which backers and opponents to the legislation were able to discuss their positions on the bill with state senators. 

During the hearing, Hal Rounds, who was identified by a local Fox affiliate as a local Tea Party leader, told lawmakers that he had a "conceptual memory" of being born. 

"I have a conceptual memory of being born. That sounds ridiculous. I didn't come out of the womb and say, 'Oh my God, there's a fluorescent light and it was made by Slovenia.' No," he continued.

"In the womb, there was a sensation of compression and advancement against one side and another - this sudden urgent pressure to burst out, and when I had this dream repeatedly through my youth and one day I said, 'You know, that's kind of like being born' and the dream stopped, alright?"

"I believe that the consciousness of the child is begun in the womb and when you kill a child, you are killing a person who is not just aware of nothing but of being a person," he continued.

Sen. Katrina Robinson (D) asked Rounds after his remarks about a certain point he tried to make.

"You just said that life, I'm sorry, heart functioning and brain functioning is life?" she asked.

After Rounds answered yes, Robinson went on to ask him at what point in the womb does a fetus develop a fully functioning brain and heart. 

Rounds said he didn't have a "timeline for that but" added that he knows it is "way before what is considered viability by the Supreme Court."

"It's the end of the second trimester," she said.

"The heart's beating way before that," he said. 

"It's the end of the second trimester, sir. I'm a nurse, what are you?" she said in the now-viral moment.

A video of the exchange shared by NowThis has racked up more than 100,000 views across Facebook and Twitter since it was shared Saturday.

It comes after the Tennessee House of Representatives passed legislation earlier this year that would ban abortions in the state once a fetal heartbeat is detectable.

According to the Tennessean, the measure stalled in the state Senate after not gaining enough backing from Republicans and was subsequently scheduled to be revisited during the chamber's summer sessions.

Outbrain