Right to Life Statement on Passage of Pro-Life Laws

Tennessee Right to Life Applauds Passage of Abortion Limits: "Safeguards for Women and Girls Empower to Make Fully-Informed Decisions"

Nashville, April 21, 2015---The state's oldest and largest pro-life organization applauded Tuesday's strong votes in support of informed consent, a 48 hour waiting for women and girls considering abortion, and a requirement that abortion facilities be inspected and licensed by the Tennessee Department of Health.  The bills were approved by super-majorities in both the state House and state Senate and will soon be headed to Governor Haslam for his signature.  As drafted, the statutes will go into effect on July 1, 2015.

"Tennessee Right to Life thanks the people of Tennessee who supported Amendment 1 and the many legislative sponsors and supporters of these bills to protect the health and safety of women and girls," said Brian Harris, the organization's president.  "Children will now be given a better chance at life because their mothers and families had the extra time and opportunity to make fully informed decisions."

The bills come largely in response to voter passage of Amendment 1 last November which allows the people and elected officials more leeway in the regulation of abortion facilities in Tennessee.  Weaker abortion laws in Tennessee have contributed to large numbers of out-of-state women seeking to terminate pregnancies which, according to the Centers for Disease Control,  has resulted in Tennessee becoming an abortion destination in which of 1 of 4 abortions was sought by a woman or girl from another state. 

"Those who profit from unregulated abortion in Tennessee are the losers today," said Harris while "women, girls and families are empowered by the requirement that adequate and accurate information is provided to assure careful decisions to protect health and life in our state."

HB 0977 requiring informed consent and 48 hour waiting period was passed 79 - 18 and 27 - 5 in the Senate.  HB 1368 requiring licensure and inspection of abortion facilities passed 81 - 17 and 28 - 4 in the Senate.

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