Despite strong opposition from Planned Parenthood, ACOG and other pro-abortion activists, pro-life legislators have strengthened Tennessee's protective public policies and overwhelmingly passed the Tennessee Infants Protection Act (HB 1189 / SB 1180). Led by prime sponsor state Rep. Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough), the state House voted early Wednesday to pass House Bill 1189 by a vote of 69-18. On Monday, the state Senate passed the bill, sponsored by state Senator Joey Hensley, M.D. (R-Hohenwald) by a vote of 27-3. The bill now goes to Pro-Life Governor Haslam who is unlikely to veto the protective legislation.
The bill criminalizes abortions after viability of an unborn child has been established except in the rare instances of threat to the life of the mother. The bill also requires a viability assessment be performed beginning at 20 weeks of pregnancy (LMP) in order to carefully test whether or not the child is able to live outside the womb with or without medical support.
The bill establishes a state presumption of viability at 24-weeks gestational development (LMP.)
"Tennessee Right to Life is grateful for the leadership of our sponsors in bringing this important pro-life protection," said Brian Harris, president of the state's oldest and largest pro-life organization. "We thank those pro-life legislators who stood for life at every stage of the legislative process. Together we will help to ensure that the strongest possible law saves the largest number of women, girls and unborn children from the horror of an elective abortion when the child could otherwise survive," said Harris.
Please Thank Those Legislators Voting in Support of Life in the face of hostile pro-abortion protesters at the Capitol: Representatives Brooks,Harry, Butt, Byrd, Calfee, Carr, Casada, Coley, Crawford, Curcio, Daniel, DeBerry, Doss, Dunn, Eldridge, Faison, Farmer, Forgety, Gant, Goins, Halford, Speaker Harwell, Hawk, Hicks, Hill, Matthew, Hill, Timothy, Holsclaw, Holt, Howell, Hulsey, Johnson, Kane, Keisling, Kumar, Lamberth, Littleton, Lollar, Lynn, Marsh, Matheny, Matlock, McDaniel, Moody, Pody, Powers, Ragan, Ramsey, Reedy, Rogers, Rudd, Sanderson, Sargent, Sexton, Cameron, Sexton, Jerry, Shaw, Sherrell, Sparks, Swann, Terry, Thompson, Tillis, Travis, Van Huss, Weaver, White, Dawn, White, Mark, Whitson, Williams, Wirgau, & Zachary.
Legislators voting pro-abortion: Representatives Akbari, Camper, Clemmons, Cooper, Favors, Fitzhugh, Gilmore, Hardaway, Jernigan, Jones, Love, Miller, Mitchell, Pitts, Powell, Staples, Stewart, & Turner.