NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — As conversations surrounding the overturning of Roe v. Wade continue, many Tennessee women are questioning how the law will be applied here.
While visiting Waverly, Tennessee Monday morning, United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) applauded the Supreme Court’s historic decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“I’m going to fight for life every chance I get,” Sen. Hagerty said. “This is the right decision to put it back with the state legislatures.”
In Tennessee, the SCOTUS decision means nearly all abortions will be banned, with very few exceptions, within the next 30 days.
“This law forces women to put their own lives at risk and will certainly lead to more pregnancy complications and death,” said State Senator Heidi Campbell (D-Nashville).
The trigger law set to go into effect next month will criminalize performing, or attempting to perform an abortion, except in extreme cases where it is necessary to prevent death or serious and permanent bodily injury to the mother.
Tennessee Democrats fear the new law will prevent women who are victims of rape, incest, or a medical complication from having access to the procedure. Some doctors also have questioned the wording that protects mothers in life-threatening situations.
“The only exception for the new abortion ban in Tennessee would be for the life of the mother. A term deliberately vague enough to give many doctors and healthcare workers pause. What does the life of the mother exception really mean,” Emergency Room Doctor Katrina Green asked. “If I, an emergency physician, do not know the answer to these questions you can bet most other doctors in our state do not either.”
Meanwhile, Congressman and Emergency Room Physician, Dr. Mark Green (R-TN-7), fully supports the SCOTUS decision and says Democrats are pushing a false argument when it comes to saving a mother’s life. “I was taught in my emergency medical residency you save the mother first. That’s the best way to save the baby. So this argument that we would somehow sacrifice the mother to save a child is a false argument. It’s not what’s taught in medical schools. Clearly, if the mother is in the midst of a miscarriage, or there’s some reason—the right thing is going to be done to save the mother’s life.”
Right now, there are no abortion exceptions for women who became pregnant as a result of rape or incest. But State Representative William Lamberth (R-Portland), said Friday conversations surrounding those circumstances should continue in the state legislature.
“I think that’s an ongoing conversation that we should all have. For literally my entire lifetime and beyond, abortion has been the law of the land. We have not really been allowed to have these conversations of ‘are there niche, horrible circumstances where it would be allowed?’ And there are exceptions in the laws we have on the books in Tennessee to save the life of the mother or the life of a child in the womb. So there are exceptions that are in there now. Whether or not we should expand that is a conversation we should have as Tennesseans,” Lamberth said.