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Multi-part Tennessee abortion law on its ways to Gov. Lee’s desk

by | Jun 19, 2020

By Dave Andrusko

Late last night, what the Tennessean described as a “wide-ranging” multiple-part abortion bill passed the state Senate by an overwhelming vote of 23-5. On Thursday, the House passed the measure by an equally lopsided vote of 68-17.

The bill now moves to the desk of Gov. Bill Lee.

Here is the Tennessean’s Natalie Allison’s summary: Abortions are banned except to save the mother’s life

  • After the point a fetal heartbeat can be detected
  • If the doctor knows that the woman is seeking an abortion because of the child’s sex or race.
  • If the doctor knows the woman is seeking an abortion due to  a diagnosis of Down syndrome.
  • For juveniles in custody of the Department of Children’s Services, including removing the current option to petition a judge for permission.

The legislation also 

  • “Require[s] that abortion clinics post a sign in the waiting room and in patient rooms informing people that it may be possible to reverse a chemical abortion.”

Allison reported, “If the courts strike down the six-week ban, in conjunction with the detection of a fetal heartbeat, the legislation goes on to automatically enact abortion bans at eight, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24 weeks of gestation.”

Prior to passage, ACLU Tennessee had already said “it plans to take Tennessee lawmakers to court,” Ivan Pereira of  ABC News reported.

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