NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A “Texas-style” abortion ban being considered at the Tennessee Capitol is raising some concern among pro-choice advocates.
The bill, from Rep. Rebecca Alexander (R-Jonesborough) and Sen. Rusty Crowe (R- Johnson City), follows the lead of the controversial Texas law SB-8, which is on hold, that bans abortions after six weeks and allows anyone to sue those who help someone seek an abortion.
It’s an attempt by Republicans to outlaw abortions, without writing those exact words into law.
“We’re creating some pretty heinous unintended consequences here if we pass this legislation or this type of legislation — we’re creating vigilantes out of friends and family,” said Rep. Gloria Johnson (D-Knoxville).
Tennessee’s law would go further if the bill is passed allowing the person and doctors to be sued for $10,000.
The restrictive abortion bill quickly appeared in an amendment packet just a few weeks before the end of committees. The text of the amendment has not been added to the bill’s page on the General Assembly’s website.
“I thought that Tennessee would’ve waited for the Supreme Court to rule on the Texas bill law before trying to make that happen here, but honestly I knew it would happen at some point I’m just surprised at the quickness that it’s happened,” said Dr. Katrina Green.
And if the bill is signed into law, opponents say it will be challenged.
“We know that the Texas bill was suspended because it was unconstitutional, same thing is going to happen here, I’m not sure there’s much that this governor and this supermajority love more than spending taxpayers’ dollars on lawsuits, unwarranted lawsuits,” said Johnson.
The bill was pushed back a week in the House Health Subcommittee.