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Tennessee Democrats announce legislation restoring access to reproductive health care

Tennessee capitol
Posted at 11:00 AM, Jul 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-12 22:52:54-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tennessee Democrats have announced legislation to restore access to reproductive health care across the state.

A federal court allowed Tennessee to ban abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy in late June following the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

In mid-August, a trigger ban is scheduled to go into effect making all abortions illegal across the state.

State Democrats met Tuesday in Nashville to announce the new legislation they're pushing forward. Their announcement can be viewed below.

TN Democrats working to restoring access to reproductive health care

Democrats say they will first attempt to codify privacy and health protections that were previously guaranteed under Roe. If they are unsuccessful, they will propose specific bills to undo specific elements of the state ban.

"We understand that codifying Roe v. Wade in Tennessee is a long shot, this is a super majority Republican state," Senator London Lamar said. "While we push legislation and will codify that's [us] wanting to send a message that we stand in support of abortion access in this state."

These bills will include establishing a clear legal exceptions for the health and well-being for the mother, rape, incest and sex trafficking and adding patient-doctor privacy protections for telehealth care.

"We are planning and coordinating to battle more legislation as they come," said Rep. John Ray Clemmons. "Because make no mistake, they're not going to stop here with the bills that they have passed."

Legislation will also be introduced to repeal criminal statutes targeting "doctors who provide medically sound and appropriate care for their patients."

"We understand that the fight to restore equal rights, genuine rights here is going to be a long term fight, but there are tragedies that are going to happen in the short-term unless we make amendments to the current trigger ban that goes into effect in August, " said Senator Jeff Yarbro.