Tennessee Republicans Advance Abortion Bill That’s More Extreme Than Texas Law

The Tennessee House of Representatives is advancing an anti-abortion law that would be stricter and more conservative than the Texas controversial law.

The Texas anti-abortion law has so far escaped serious judicial scrutiny due to its mechanics.The Supreme Court is conservative-leaning — instead of the state of Texas enforcing a six-week ban on abortion, the legislation Residents are responsible for enforcementWho can sue abortion providers and anyone else who helps individuals access abortion services?

The Tennessee bill, advanced through the House Health Subcommittee this week, goes beyond the Texas law, however, as it allows a resident of the state to sue providers if an abortion occurs at any stage of pregnancy — which essentially outlaws the procedure, except in limited circumstances concerning the health of the pregnant person.

State Rep. Rebecca Alexander (R), the sponsor of the bill, said it was “modeled directly” after the Texas law. Alexander also celebrated the fact abortion rates are low Texas saw a drop of 60%After the law was passed, it was hopeful that the same dramatic outcome would occur in Tennessee.

The bill, which allows for some health exceptions and disallows rapists to sue if their victims request an abortion, also denies them the right to sue. However, Democrats noted — and Alexander conceded — that a loophole in that provision would allow a rapist’s family members or friends to sue a hypothetical rape victim on their behalf.

Gov. Bill Lee (R-Tennessee) was noncommittal toward supporting the bill, noting that an abortion law last year that banned the procedure at the first sign of “fetal heartbeat” – a term that health experts say is unscientific and misleading – was still being litigated.

“We’re currently in a situation with the existing legislation in place that is being reviewed by the courts, a very important process. My sense is that we need to let that play out,” Lee said in a statement last week.

Critics lashed at the bill because it denied the right to access abortion services at any stage in gestation in the state.

“If this bill is allowed to go into effect, people who need abortions will be forced to either travel out of state, not receive the health care that they need, or seek abortions in unsafe situations,” CHOICES Memphis Center for Reproduction Health said in a statement. “This is a heartbreaking decision and one that sets Tennesseans back decades.”

Katrina Green, a Nashville emergency physician, stated that the bill would hurt marginalized communities that do not have access to abortion services.

“Please consider that outlawing abortion in Tennessee will not stop women from getting abortions,” Green wrote on Twitter. “Women have been ending pregnancies for hundreds of years. Wealthy women will always be able to have an abortion. Since 2005 Roe v Wade have all women been able to obtain abortions in a safe manner.”

“Going back to pre-Roe” — as this bill seeks to do — “would likely result in the unnecessary harm and deaths of countless women,” Green tweeted.