‘Fetal heartbeat bill’ advances at Tennessee legislature as questions raised

Local News

The measure called the “Fetal Heartbeat Bill” easily passed a house committee today paving the way for a full vote on the floor of the chamber. 

The 15-Republicans of the House Health Committee voted to advance the bill while the four Democrats on the committee voted against it.  

House Republican sponsor Rep. Micah Van Huss introduced the measure by saying “House Bill 77 will ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat has been detected.” 

A Memphis Democrat Larry Miller saw the measure differently. 

“House Bill 77 would prevent most women from getting abortions as early as six weeks…before men and woman even know they are pregnant,” Rep. Miller said in the committee.  

There were more questions raised by Rep. Barbara Cooper, another Memphis Democrat. 

“Are you saying even in the case of rape, incest…that you are abandoning or prohibiting an abortion? ” asked Rep. Cooper. 

“I am,” replied sponsor Van Huss. “I would not think Mrs. Cooper that killing babies is the right thing to do.” 

The passionate debate was joined by Republican Rep. Matthew Hill. 

“It is absolutely sick and twisted. all lives matter…all,” said Rep. Hill to applause from some in the audience.  

Moments after the bill passed the committee, the American Civil Liberties Union (ALCU) said its prepared to challenge the bill in court if the measure becomes law.  

That and other court challenges along with the legal costs to the state will likely questions be raised as the fetal heartbeat bill also goes through state Senate committees. 

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