Republican lawmakers intro bill to ban abortion in Tennessee if Roe v. Wade overturned

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Two Tennessee lawmakers backed by many of their colleagues today introduced a new bill that they hope will ban abortion in the state.

Called the “Human Life Protection Act,” the bill bans abortion in Tennessee if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade or amends the U.S. Constitution to allow states to prohibit abortion. 

Roe v. Wade is the landmark legislation that legalized abortion in the US in 1973. 

“It will restore the pre-Roe v. Wade Tennessee law that made an exception for the life of a mother,” said Senate sponsor Delores Gresham.

As many Republicans as possible crammed into a media room where Senator Gresham and House sponsor Rep. Susan Lynn answered questions about the legislation.

“I think this bill gives hope to Tennesseans. Tennessee is a pro-life state,” Rep. Lynn said, 

She was asked where that hope comes from, and why now?

“By electing a president, Donald Trump, who is appointing good constitutional judges, we feel it’s going in the right direction to protect life,” said Lynn, the House sponsor. 

“And we want to be proactive,” added Senator Gresham. “That’s who we are as Tennesseans.” 

The Senate Democrat leader says lawmakers should not work in hypotheticals without considering the consequences of banning abortions.

“I would think you would have a lot of people who can afford to seek medical care elsewhere, and people who would not be — putting themselves [at] risk of criminal jeopardy and physical harm,” said Sen. Jeff Yarbro.

A spokesperson for Right to Life said four other states have passed similar laws to the one proposed in Tennessee — North Dakota, South Dakota, Louisiana and Mississippi.

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