Democrats announce legislation to repeal Tennessee’s total abortion ban — with no Republican support
Democrats in the Tennessee General Assembly are fighting back against the state’s total abortion ban that went into effect last year. Members of the party presented a new bill Tuesday called the Fundamental Right to Reproductive Health Care Act. But any legislation will be impossible to pass without Republican support.
Sen. London Lamar, D-Memphis, is sponsoring legislation that she says puts the choice of abortion back into the hands of Tennessee women. During a press conference at the capitol, she described the reality of the current way pregnancies are handled in Tennessee for victims of rape and incest.
“If you are raped, you have to carry your rapist’s baby. If an uncle decides to take advantage of his 12-year-old niece, she has to carry that baby created from incest and rape,” said Lamar.
Lamar’s bill would create a fundamental right to reproductive healthcare including abortion, removing any need for exceptions. The bill would also delete any criminal penalties that a physician would face under the current law.
House Speaker Cameron Sexton has said he’d support adding more explicit exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. Yet neither he nor any other Republican has backed legislation to amend the state’s law. Sexton previously told WPLN News it was unlikely he could support a Democratic bill without strict limits on when an abortion could be performed.