The Latest on abortion bills moving through the Tennessee General Assembly (all times local):
A proposal that would effectively outlaw most abortions in Tennessee if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade is headed to the governor’s desk.
State lawmakers in both the House and Senate overwhelmingly advanced the legislation on Monday, with just a handful of Democrats voting against.
Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota and South Dakota have similar laws on the books triggering abortion bans in the event the nation’s high court overturns the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide. Kentucky and Missouri are considering enacting such bills this year.
A so-called trigger ban that would take effect if the high court overturns Roe v. Wade includes exceptions only for medical emergencies and not for rape or incest. Doctors who violate the law would face a felony charge.
The Tennessee Senate has rejected a push to revive a bill this year to ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy.
The GOP-led chamber cast a voice vote against Republican Sen. Mark Pody’s motion Monday.
Earlier this month, a Senate committee agreed to review the issue this summer and consider it next year.
The “fetal heartbeat ban” measure already passed the House. Senate leaders said the bill raised too many legal concerns.
Some Republicans touted their anti-abortion views Monday but expressed concerns about what could happen during likely legal challenges.
GOP Senate Speaker Randy McNally said Pody’s motion would bypass the committee system, putting the entire process at risk.
Pody said the rules are meant to serve senators and aren’t their masters.