• Memphis woman says she was silenced during state senate hearing on abortion

    By: Jacque Masse

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The CEO of Sister Reach in Memphis is speaking out after she said she was silenced before the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

    She spoke against senate bill 1236, which would ban abortion in Tennessee.

    Cherisse Scott said getting stopped in the middle of her testimony was racist and misogynistic. 

    She said she was given 10 minutes to speak but spoke less.

    "You manipulated biblical scriptures to align with your colonialist, supremacist ideologies instead of showing mercy and using the power of your political party," said Scott.


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    In the middle of that sentence Scott was interrupted by Senator Mike Bell.

    "That's enough, your time is up," said Bell.

    The CEO of Sister Reach was invited to speak about a bill that could ban abortions at the senate judiciary committee.

    She said she was initially given 10 minutes. Scott said she submitted an outline with her talking points.

    "I think it was what I was saying, and I think it was the fact that it was coming from me – a black woman – disciplining them, calling them in, calling them out at the same time," said Scott.

    At one point Bell asked for the sergeant in arms to escort her out, but she continued to speak. 

    Scott told FOX13 she doesn't believe abortions should be banned. Instead, she wants to focus on education.

    Her organization in Memphis focuses on helping women with reproductive justice.

    She said she ended up leaving the room on her own and wants an apology.

    "You shut me down, it only shows it was racist and that it was misogynistic and totally sexist," said Scott.

    FOX13 called and emailed Bell but didn't hear back.

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