Tenn. Senate Committee Passes Abortion Bill

Posted at 10:41 AM, Apr 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-20 11:43:00-04

A bill that would ban some abortions at 20 weeks has passed in a Senate committee, despite Tennessee's attorney general calling the measure "constitutionally suspect."

Doctors who violated the law could be subject to criminal prosecution under the measure.

The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Joey Hensley, a Republican from Hohenwald who is also a medical doctor. He told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday that the purpose of the bill was to make sure viable infants were not being aborted.

The bill would require doctors to perform a test to see if the infant is viable once a pregnancy reached 20 weeks. The legislation wouldn't apply in a medical emergency or if the mother faced serious risks.