Posted by 14 August 2019
In a move sure to spark a court challenge, Tennessee legislators are considering passing a bill that would amount to a ban on abortion in the state.
Under the proposed bill, abortions would be banned at the moment a viable pregnancy is presume to exist or has been confirmed to exist. This means that as soon as a pregnancy can be detected by a test, usually within a couple weeks of conception, no abortion could be performed. This ban goes further than bans in other states that prohibit abortions when the fetus develops a heartbeat.
A similar bill was considered but not passed earlier this year in Tennessee. While Republicans control the legislature, not all of them support an abortion ban bill that goes this far. The lieutenant governor also opposes it.
Critics of the bill say that it goes much further to ban abortion that the Supreme Court allows. The high court’s decisions permit abortion bans when a fetus is viable outside of the womb. This bill bans abortion far earlier than this standard. Supporters recognize that passage of such a bill will involve court challenges, but say this would be a vehicle for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. If the court does this, it would end the national legalization of abortion and allow states to set their own rules for the procedure.
Legislators considered the bill during a special “study session” of the legislature. No bill can be passed during such a session, but this step does ready a bill for consideration when the regular session of the legislature occurs in January.
Do you think that states should be able to ban abortion?