Hamilton Co. District Attorney candidates address upcoming state abortion law

New state law would ban all abortions in Tennessee unless otherwise necessary to save mother

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — Tennessee’s “Human Life Protection Act” is expected to become law in August — a month that will feature a slew of local elections.

The new state law would ban all abortions in Tennessee, except those necessary to save the life of the mother.

The overturning of Roe v. Wade has left both Coty Wamp and John Allen Brooks with two different takes on how Hamilton County should address new state mandates.

Both D.A. candidates understand that the state’s trigger laws would not prosecute women, but rather those medically providing an abortion.

“A lot of people have asked, you know, ‘are you going to prosecute women?'” Wamp said. “The state statute now and in August does not provide for any penalizing of a woman and I agree that it should not.”

Despite this, Brooks says any woman who chooses the procedure would still need to testify as a witness.

“You’re going to take a woman that’s made that choice on what to do with her own body and bring her in to set up what basically would be a show trial,” Brooks said. “I think that’s a vast waste of the resources that the District Attorney’s office has.”

As local elections loom in Hamilton County, Brooks says he’s disgusted by the actions of the Supreme Court and state, calling the latter “cowardly.”

“I think that the Supreme Court made a mistake,” Brooks said. “To subject a woman to having to testify for something about that is absolutely wrong. I can’t see [myself] ever allowing that to happen. If the people in Nashville want to come over and prosecute such a case, then they’re welcome to.”

Wamp, however, says upholding the law isn’t a matter of personal preference.

If it’s a state law, she says she will defend it — regardless of any controversy.

“A district attorney takes an oath to enforce the law,” Wamp said. “If you do not agree that you’re going to enforce our state law, you’re not qualified to be district attorney. So when I’m asked are you going to enforce this statute as it’s written now or as it’s going to be in effect in August, absolutely.”

Brooks says he believes the Supreme Court’s ruling does away with “equality” between both American men and women.

Wamp says now is the time for everyone “to listen to each other” and that, if elected, her office will “always enforce the laws of the state of Tennessee.”

The election for Hamilton County District Attorney will be held on Thursday, August 4.

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