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Prohibits Abortions After Viability (SB 1180 / HB 1189)

BILL SUMMARY

Prohibits abortion of a viable fetus and requires testing to determine viability if a woman is at least 20 weeks pregnant.

BILL ANALYSIS

Similar to the 20-week abortion ban (see TN Senate Bill 766). Requiring a determination of viability is an attempt to improve the odds that the law would not be held unconstitutional under current U.S. Supreme Court precedent. As passed, prohibits abortion of a viable fetus and requires testing to determine viability if a woman is at least 20 weeks pregnant.

BILL SPONSORS

Hensley in the Senate, M. Hill in the House

BILL STATUS

Signed by Governor 5/11/17. Public Chapter 353.

Full Text: Senate Bill / House Bill

 

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Personhood at Fertilization (SB 743 / HB 895)

BILL SUMMARY

Declares that life begins at conception and all the rights of personhood attach at that point.

BILL ANALYSIS

This bill would not survive a constitutional challenge under existing Supreme Court precedent, as states can ban abortion after “viability” which, legally is considered to occur at 24 weeks.

BILL SPONSORS

Beavers in the Senate, Pody in the House

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Full Text: Senate Bill / House Bill

BILL STATUS

No action taken in the House or Senate.

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Fetal Heartbeat Bill (SB 244 / HB 108)

BILL SUMMARY

Also known as the Fetal Heartbeat Bill, it bans abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected.

BILL ANALYSIS

It is questionable whether this would survive a constitutional challenge under existing Supreme Court precedent, as states can ban abortion after “viability” which, legally, is considered to occur at 24 weeks.

Passage of the bill could result in a lawsuit that would reach the U.S. Supreme Court and provide a context in which Roe v. Wade could be overturned.

As amended, if an ultrasound is performed prior to an abortion, requires the reporting of certain information related to whether a heartbeat was detected and requires woman/patient be given the option to be informed of the results.

BILL SPONSORS

Pody in the Senate, Van Huss in the House

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Full Text: Senate Bill / House Bill

BILL STATUS

Signed by the Governor 5/3/18. Public Chapter 862.

Tennessee flag logo and words life bills

20-Week Abortion Ban Bill (SB 766/ HB 101)

BILL SUMMARY

Prohibits abortion after 20 weeks with exceptions for the life and health of the mother.

BILL ANALYSIS

Sixteen states currently ban abortion after 20 weeks. It is questionable whether this would survive a constitutional challenge under existing U.S. Supreme Court precedent, as states can ban abortion after “viability” which, legally, is considered to occur at 24 weeks.

Passage of the bill could result in a lawsuit that would reach the U.S. Supreme Court and provide a context in which Roe v. Wade could be overturned.

BILL SPONSORS

Beavers in the Senate, Weaver in the House

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Full Text: Senate Bill / House Bill

BILL STATUS

No action taken in the House or Senate.

Tennessee flag logo and words family bills

Contraceptive Drugs Coverage (SB 1142 / HB 721)

BILL SUMMARY

Requires that every group health insurance policy, to the extent not preempted by federal law, have coverage for all contraceptive drugs and devices approved by the FDA.

BILL ANALYSIS

This is very similar to the Obamacare mandate on contraception, which resulted in a lawsuit from the Little Sisters of the Poor. The bill does offer a mild religious liberty exception but requires an organization to file for a religious exemption (subject to approval) and offer written notice to prospective enrollees.

BILL SPONSORS

Kyle in the Senate, Powell in the House

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Full Text: Senate Bill / House Bill

BILL STATUS

No action taken in the House or Senate.