NASHVILLE– Tennessee Right to Life would like to thank Governor Lee for signing into law HB883/SB745 which will clarify but not weaken the Human Life Protection Act.
The measure passed overwhelmingly in the House and Senate this session with bipartisan support and will allow Tennessee law to continue to protect the right to life of all unborn children in Tennessee. With the Governor’s signature, the measure goes into effect immediately.
The language of the bill, which was amended from its original form, clarifies that treatment for ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, and miscarriage are not violations of current Tennessee law. The measure also changes the affirmative defense to an exception for those times when the life of the mother is at risk or there is risk of irreversible harm to a major bodily function. The legislation allows Tennessee law to continue to protect the right to life of all unborn children while offering clarity that pro-life legislators and physicians wanted.
Tennessee Right to Life lobbyist, Will Brewer, was pleased with the outcome of the legislative session, “The session got off to a rocky start with the introduction of HB883 in the House Population Subcommittee. The original language would have significantly weakened Tennessee’s pro-life law and would have made it basically unenforceable. Pro-life voters and members of the General Assembly made their voices heard before the bill was presented in the full Health Committee, and the bill was basically rewritten with language that was acceptable to the pro-life position and to pro-life Tennesseans. Those pro-life voices made all the difference.”
Tennessee Right to Life appreciates the legislators who worked to ensure that Tennessee’s Human Life Protection Act would continue to work as intended when it was passed in 2019. The law is saving an estimated 900 children from being aborted in our state every month.
Tennessee Right to Life President, Stacy Dunn, said, “Unborn children are protected for another year in Tennessee. Because of the work of pro-life legislators, Tennessee values are still reflected in Tennessee law. Dunn continued, “Every day, every month and every year that goes by without legalized abortion moves our state that much closer to a day when abortion is not only illegal but unthinkable.”
In addition to this victory, legislators also passed a prohibition on local governments using tax dollars to fund the travel or expenses of aborting Tennessee children in other states. HB90/SB600 passed the House and Senate Chambers overwhelmingly earlier this session and has already been signed by the Governor.
“Because of pro-life legislators and Governor Lee, Tennessee is leading the nation in protecting the right to life of our most vulnerable citizens. Tennessee Right to Life and pro-life Tennesseans are grateful that our state leaders have made life a priority in our state,” Brewer said.