Pro-lifers divided over bill to ban most abortions in Tennessee | 8/22/2019 | Staff
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A split has emerged between pro-life activists in Tennessee as some are opposing a measure to effectively ban all abortions in the state out of fear such legislation could backfire at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Republicans - Tennessee - Amendment - Heartbeat - Bill

Republicans in Tennessee are considering an amendment to a fetal heartbeat bill introduced by Republican Sen. Mark Prody in August that would ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. The legislation, which won’t be voted on until at least January 2020, is similar to heartbeat legislation passed in at least eight other states this year.

Last week, the Tennessee state legislature met for a summer study to discuss the proposed amendment to the bill. The heartbeat bill itself has been labeled by critics as a “near-total ban” on abortion. The bill does include exceptions for cases when the mother's life is at risk in a medical emergency.

Amendment - Life - Conception - Viability - Detection

The proposed amendment defines life as beginning at conception and viability as being confirmed upon detection of human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone which can be detected in some pregnancy tests.

Among pro-life activists who spoke at the meeting is Jim Bopp, the general counsel for the National Right to Life Committee, the nation’s oldest and largest pro-life advocacy network.

Bopp - Level - Opposition - Bill - Point

Bopp indicated a level of opposition to the bill at this point in time, fearing such a law could go before the U.S. Supreme Court at a time when there are not five justices willing to overturn previous abortion-rights precedents set in 1973's Roe v. Wade ruling and reaffirmed in 1992 through Casey v. Planned Parenthood.

“What do we know about the current Supreme Court? Well, we know one justice has said anywhere in writing or in a judicial opinion that Roe...
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