Tennessee governor signs strict late-term abortion ban

Dhaka,  Tue,  22 August 2017
Published : 13 May 2017, 12:38:52

Tennessee governor signs strict late-term abortion ban

Tennessee governor signs strict late-term abortion ban
Tennessee's governor signed a strict new abortion measure into law Friday, drawing praise and sharp criticism, according to USA Today.

The measure will further limit the few abortions already performed in Tennessee past the point of fetal viability — and potentially send doctors to jail if they fail to prove in court that an abortion of a viable fetus was necessary to save a woman's life or prevent substantial or irreversible harm to a "major bodily function of a pregnant woman."

On July 1, Tennessee will become one of at least 21 states that explicitly ban abortions beyond viability. But the measure, called the Tennessee Infants Protection Act, goes further than most other bans and could become the subject of a lengthy court challenge.

In early April, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery called the measure "constitutionally suspect" by placing a doctor acting in good faith at risk for felony prosecution. Slatery also questioned whether a lack of an exception for a woman's emotional or mental health could survive a legal challenge.

Slatery later pledged to defend the bill after it was amended to require two doctors' opinions on fetal viability, but the bill that Gov. Bill Haslam signed does not contain any exceptions for mental-health risks to the pregnant woman.

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