State House passes fetal heartbeat bill, moves on to Senate


NASHVILLE — The Tennessee General Assembly passed House bill 77. The legislation would ban abortions after a heartbeat is detected in the fetus.

The bill passed along party lines with 65 republicans voting yes, 21 no votes 7 not voting. The bill will be heard by the Senate.

An anti-abortion group in Tennessee is opposing the bill that would ban most women from obtaining the procedure once a fetus’s heartbeat is detected.

Tennessee Right to Life stated Tuesday that they are against the legislation because it raises too many legal concerns and could weaken the state’s current abortion ban.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee has threatened to sue the state if the bill passes.

Similar bills are being considered in several other states, including Mississippi, Ohio, Florida, Kentucky, and South Carolina. Conservatives want to push an abortion case to the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge the court’s 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.

Republican Gov. Bill Lee has said he would sign the bill should it reach his desk.

(Pictured: Rep. Mike Sparks, Rep. Dennis Powers, Rep. Jerry Sexton, Rep. Micah Van Huss and Rep. Debra Moody stand together in support of HB 77, know as the ‘Heartbeat Bill.’)

Furthermore, the bill would ban abortion once a heartbeat is detected — typically around six weeks. The group says this would replace existing abortion restrictions and leave the state with no “post-viable” abortion ban during a legal challenge.

Gov. Bill Lee, House Speaker Glen Casada and Senate Speaker Randy McNally have all shown their support for the so-called heartbeat ban.


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