August 25, 2022

Tennessee Trigger on Abortion Goes into Effect

In Tennessee, a new law that strictly prohibits abortion went into effect on August 25, 2022, called the Human Life Protection Act, was passed in 2019. The law was triggered into effect after the Supreme Court decision on Dobbs.

Concerns have been raised concerns that it does not include exceptions to save the life of the woman but rather a narrowly worded legal defense in the case that a physician is prosecuted for performing an abortion. Violation of the law is a class C felony subject to a $10,000 fine and a prison sentence of 3-15 years.

The Tennessee legislation passed a separate law in House Bill 2416 on abortion inducing medication earlier in this year.   

The Tennessee College of Emergency Physicians is exploring legislative options in collaboration with others including the Tennessee Medical Association to address the ambiguity of the state law and lack of protections for physicians treating patients in an emergency. The Tennessee legislature is scheduled to begin its 2023 legislative session on January 10, 2023.

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