Tennessee Legislature Passes Ban On Abortions After 20 Weeks

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Tennessee lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday banning abortions after 20 weeks if a doctor says the fetus is viable.

The House voted 69-18 in favor of the legislation, which passed the Senate 27-3 on Monday. It now goes to Gov. Haslam.

The legislation includes felony penalties for doctors but doesn’t apply if the mother could die or suffer serious damage to major bodily functions.

The bill was sponsored in the House by Rep. Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough) and in the Senate by Sen. Joey Hensley (R-Hohenwald).

Haslam said he would talk to Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery before making his decision, according to the Associated Press. Slatery has said his office would defend the measure if it were to become law. However, he previously called it “constitutionally suspect.”

The House Republican majority voted against including exceptions for rape and incest that Democrats wanted in the legislation.

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