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Tennessee Lawmakers Push To Completely Ban Abortion




Tennessee lawmakers tried to pass a "fetal heartbeat" bill earlier this year. It was passed in the House of Representatives, but ultimately failed in the Senate.

Heartbeat Bill Not Going Down Without a Fight

The bill has since been amended, and it's now being evaluated in a special "study session." Over 20 medical and legal experts are gathering for two day meeting this Monday and Tuesday to provide testimony to support both sides of the issue.

Lots of Interest

Many people gathered to hear the testimony on Monday. The legislative room was crowed with over 300 people that traveled from near and far. Some even traveled hundreds of miles to hear the debates. 

Redefine Fetal Viability

Senator Mark Pody now seeks to refine the definition of fetal viability. 

 The concept is currently commonly defined as the ability an unborn child has to survive for a prolonged period of time outside of the mother's body. Most professionals agree that this occurs sometime during the third trimester of pregnancy. 

The senator now wants conception to define viability. 


Unborn Humans Would Finally Have Rights

The new amendment would give an unborn person constitutional rights under state law. "A baby is a live human being and should be entitled to any of the constitutional rights as any other person," said Pody. 


Amended Bill Would Make Abortion in Tennessee Illegal

If the human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) hormone is present in women, they would be be unable to receive an abortion under the new bill unless they are at risk. This hormone is normally detectable with the use of blood and urine tests around 11 days after conception. 

High Hopes for Supreme Court

Pro-life lawmakers are hoping to use this as a stepping stone to open up a case before the Supreme Court. They hope that the new findings will be enough to open a case to overturn Roe v. Wade (a bill passed in 1973 to legalize abortion nationwide). Senator Kerry Roberts stated "We want a vehicle to lead the Supreme Court to consider, I hope, overturning or at least chipping away at Roe v. Wade."


Change Takes Time

If the changes are passed, the amended bill will be put up for a vote January 2020. The legislature that consists of two Democrats and seven Republicans is then expected to accept these changes.

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