Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Monday 19 April |
Saint of the Day: Pope Saint Leo IX
home iconNews
line break icon

Tennessee bans abortion once heartbeat detected

Public Domain

John Burger - published on 06/19/20

The new law also makes it illegal to abort because of a diagnosis of Down syndrome.

The state of Tennessee will have a new law giving unborn children some of the greatest protection in the United States. Tennessee’s Senate overwhelmingly voted to pass a bill that prohibits abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. This is normally around six weeks gestation.

The law also will prohibit abortions if the doctor knows a woman is seeking the procedure on the basis of the child’s sex or race, or if she doesn’t want to bring the pregnancy to term because the unborn child has a diagnosis of Down Syndrome.

Tennessee’s new law also will prohibit juveniles in custody of the Department of Children’s Services from having abortions, and remove the current option to petition a judge for permission.

The only possibility for an exception to the new rules is if a pregnant woman’s life is in danger, but not rape or incest.

Finally, the law requires abortion clinics to post a sign in the waiting room and in patient rooms indicating that it might be possible to reverse a chemical abortion. Clinics that fail to do this face a $10,000 fine.

The American Civil Liberties Union promised to challenge the bill in court.

“The Tennessee General Assembly’s passage of this dangerous, flatly unconstitutional bill is unacceptable,” Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, said Friday. “Lawmakers used this measure in a game of political maneuvering to pass the state budget — pushing it through without regard for the actual Tennesseans who will be denied access to the care they need, including abortion.”

The Tennesean reported that the bill, part of Gov. Bill Lee’s legislative agenda, was largely abandoned earlier this spring amid the coronavirus pandemic, but that it “found new life through last-minute budget negotiations between the House and Senate on Thursday. … The bill was passed with Senate rules suspended, as it wasn’t on the chamber’s legislative calendar, and without any members of the public present.”

Gov. Lee tweeted his appreciation for passage of the bill, saying, “One of the most important things we can do to be pro-family is to protect the rights of the most vulnerable in our state, and there is none more vulnerable than the unborn.”

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
Philip Kosloski
5 Essential things used at Mass and their symbolism
Cerith Gardiner
7 Joys to be had from a lengthy marriage
Annalisa Teggi
Amputee from the waist down is thankful every day to be alive
Brett Salkeld
How to vaccinate like a Catholic
Lucandrea Massaro
This 3D “carbon copy” of Jesus was created using the ...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.