Governor Lee backs heartbeat abortion ban


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Lee says he supports banning abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

Lee told reporters Wednesday he supports any bill reducing the number of abortions in the state. He joins GOP leaders House Speaker Glen Casada and Senate Speaker Randy McNally in voicing support for the idea.

Lee said he would also look at the decision in Iowa last week, where a state judge struck down a heartbeat law.

Speaking generally, Lee said would look at any piece of legislation to decide whether he favors it, and the courts would have to decide for themselves whether it’s constitutional or not.

Fetal heartbeat bills are at odds with the legal standard under the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling, which prohibits states from banning abortions before viability. But some national abortion opponents hope passing stricter prohibitions will lead to a Supreme Court review of Roe v. Wade.

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