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General Assembly approves penalties for abortion trafficking

The General Assembly recently approved legislation further protecting the unborn in Tennessee.

House Bill 1895, sponsored by State Rep. Jason Zachary, R-Knoxville, makes abortion trafficking a minor a Class A misdemeanor. The legislation seeks to prevent anyone from attempting to circumvent the state’s current abortion law by helping to facilitate an abortion for a minor without parental consent.

“The legislation that you have in front of you ensures that parents can make the best decision for their children,” Zachary said. “(It) is critically important because the recruitment and transporting of a minor to facilitate an abortion is happening in our state.”

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The legislation also allows any adult who illegally transports a minor for an abortion to be held civilly liable for the wrongful death of the unborn child.

Republicans in the General Assembly in 2019 laid the groundwork to ensure life is protected at conception in Tennessee should the U.S. Supreme Court ever reverse its decision to legalize abortion. The General Assembly that year passed the Human Life Protection Act, a conditional trigger law written to go into effect 30 days following the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe vs. Wade.

When the high court overturned its 1973 decision on June 24, 2022, the Human Life Protection Act became law and automatically made abortion for any reason a felony in Tennessee.

House Bill 1895 will now head to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk to be signed into law. It will take effect July 1.

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