Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Bill To Criminalize Abortion Trafficking Of Minors In Tennessee

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The Tennessee Conservative Staff –

Legislation that would make it a criminal offense to transport minors across state lines for the purpose of obtaining an abortion was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 2.

Senate Bill 1971 (SB1971) would also allow for civil action against a person who commits abortion trafficking of a minor.

Senator Paul Rose (R-Lauderdale/Shelby/Tipton Counties-District 32), sponsor of the bill, began by noting that the bill is simply a parental protection bill that would require parental permission for a minor to be transported for the purpose of having an abortion.

The committee heard testimony from three witnesses who opposed the bill. These witnesses argued that the legislation “seeks to find a solution to a problem that does not exist.” They listed potential health and social hazards that could befall pregnant children who were unable to obtain their desired medical care, including abortions.

Senator London Lamar (D-Memphis-District 33) made a motion that the bill be moved to a summer study to allow for more time to research before making a final decision. Her motion did not receive a second, and the committee voted on the bill.

SB1971 passed the committee with 7 aye votes and only Senator Lamar voting against the legislation. The bill will move on to the Senate Calendar Committee.

The companion House Bill 1895 (HB1895) has been placed behind the budget, so it will not progress unless additional funding remains after Governor Lee’s priority legislation has been funded.

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