Senate dangles approval of abortion bill to get House to back down on budget

The Senate meets in Nashville on June 1, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Sweeping legislation aimed at banning most abortions in Tennessee is suddenly back in play as the House and Senate look to break an impasse and adjourn the session for the year.

The Senate had included the abortion legislation among an array of bills it didn’t plan to take up for not being related to the COVID-19 pandemic or being time-sensitive. That appears on the verge of changing late Thursday, as the Senate is expected to suspend its rules and hold vote on the bill. In return, the House is expected to relent on many of the changes it sought to make to the budget proposal approved by the upper chamber.

The bill was first introduced at the behest of Gov. Bill Lee.  It is widely expected to be challenged in court, as similar laws in other states have. Supporters say they hope a legal challenge could reach the U.S. Supreme Court and cause the Roe v. Wade decision to be overturned.

According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

Lee’s bill deploys a “laddered” approach, offering various restrictions in hopes that if courts reject the strictest one, justices will consider the next one down the list and so forth, possibly accepting one of them.

Its strictest provision seeks to ban all abortions except to save the life of a woman or in cases of “serious risk” of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function upon detection of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin. The hormone, produced by cells growing around a fetus, is detectable as early as 11 days after a woman becomes pregnant via a blood test and from 12-14 days by a urine test.

There are also “fetal heartbeat” provisions in the bill that bar abortion procedures upon detection of a fetus’ heart beat, as early as five-and-a-half to six weeks after gestation.

20 Responses to Senate dangles approval of abortion bill to get House to back down on budget

  • Avatar
    John says:

    The House is so stupid if they fall for this. The Senate knows Trump’s Supreme Court will never let any of Bill Lee’s ladder rungs stand.

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    James White says:

    Since the Republican party was started by communists, they never surprise me anymore.
    Alvan Bovay and Horace Greeley would be proud.

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    Stuart I. Anderson says:

    Republican voters are losing their jobs for expressing mainstream political opinions on their free time, never mentioning their employer, and Republicans are playing dodge ball with each other in the General Assembly. Anybody care to guess how long it would take the Democrats to introduce the appropriate legislation to end this outrage if it were Democratic constituents who were losing their jobs for expressing a political opinion? But then again the Democratic Party is a serious political party while the Republican Party is simply the legislative wing of the Chamber of Commerce

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    Donna Locke says:

    The Republican Party is The Big Nothing. They have no conception of the conservatism of limited government, which also includes respect for and protection of individual freedoms. All they have as an actual base are corporate whale gobblers of our tax dollars; employers of cheap imported, often illegal, labor; and religious fanatics intent on imposing their manufactured myths, flawed beliefs, and tyrannical rules onto everyone by force. And they share the first two with the Democrats. As for the third group, the Democrats are just as narrow-minded, fanatical, and flawed in their beliefs and thus constitute their own cult, so it’s a battle of cults.

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    cindy says:

    pray for God’s discernment and to lift the blinders off your eyes

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    Norma Shirk says:

    We’ve got a busted state budget (according to the Gov and his enablers), covid-19 put a hole in our economy leaving thousands of lower income people unemployed and needing food and housing assistance. What is our useless state legislature doing at this critical point in our state? Wasting time with 1980’s culture wars.

    Wake up Republican Party! Live in the America of today. And tell male persons to use condoms or – the favorite of the religious right – abstain from sex. Abortion would be irrelevant of men took responsiblity for their own actions.

    • Avatar
      James White says:

      It wasn’t COVID19 is was the Governors and the Mayors that destroyed the economy.

    • Avatar
      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Glad you’re becoming a more active participant on this forum Norma so we can so much better keep up with the latest lunacy of the left. Are women, who after all bear the heaviest burden in this child having/raising process, freed from obligations to practice birth control? All my life I always felt that if it was really, really important, you best handle it yourself. In the case of birth control, if pregnancy is really, really undesirable, no less than two birth control devices operating simultaneously will do.

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    MARLE says:

    All this clap-trap about individual freedoms with no mention of a corresponding responsibility not to financially burden other Americans or snuff out their lives.

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