Despite Republican opinion, Democrats bring forth bill that would allow abortion

Abortion–South Carolina
Posted at 3:33 PM, Jan 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-30 16:33:15-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Though in a Republican supermajority, Democrats filed legislation Monday, allowing abortion back in Tennessee.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision enacted the six-week abortion ban law last summer. Planned Parenthood providers performed their last abortion in June in Tennessee. The legislation — known as the "heartbeat bill" — means abortions can't happen after cardiac activity is detected on an ultrasound.

This all came down after the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe v. Wade. Trigger laws in Tennessee went into effect in less than 30 days, which followed the Human Life Protection Act voted on by the legislature in 2019. Some lawmakers out of session wanted to change the laws, but most said they may not waiver from their original position.

The newly filed legislation — proposed by Sen. London Lamar and Rep. Karen Camper — is called the Fundamental Right to Reproductive Health Care Act. It would define that continuing or ending a pregnancy as a right of pregnant people. It would repeal the criminality of abortion.

It would also delete the prohibition of schools working with sex educators who are connected to organizations that provide abortion care. It would further mandate that health care plans established in Tennessee through the federal exchange to cover reproductive care. It would also allow TennCare to cover abortion procedures.

While Democrats have filed this, the makeup of the Tennessee General Assembly hasn't changed since 2019 when the trigger laws passed. Although some Republicans have said they would like to see a provision for rape, incest and danger to the mother. The current law has no exceptions.