Tennessee Governor Signs Law Clarifying Abortion Ban Exceptions

Image Credit: Kelly Verdeck / CC

The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –

Last Friday, Governor Bill Lee signed new legislation into law that provides clarification of Tennessee’s abortion ban. 

House Bill 0883 (HB0883) and Senate Bill 0745 (SB0745) passed during this past legislative session, receiving support from both parties. The law will be in effect immediately after it passes into law.

The legislation removes affirmative defense for physicians who perform an abortion if the life of the mother is at risk or if there is risk of irreversible harm to any major bodily function. Additionally, it clarifies that treating ectopic pregnancies, molar pregnancies, and miscarriages are not a violation of the abortion ban.

The removal of affirmative defense only applies to a risk to the physical health of the mother. The bill states that mental health concerns are not eligible exemptions.

Legislators also passed a bill that prohibits local governments from using taxpayer funding to pay for travel or expenses for individuals who want to go out of state to receive abortions. Governor Lee has signed this law as well.

According to a statement released by the Tennessee Right to Life, the state’s abortion ban “is saving an estimated 900 children from being aborted in our state every month.”

A recent report released by the Society of Family Planning confirmed this drop in abortion numbers. The report states that, prior to the abortion ban going into effect, an average of 1,195 abortions were performed per month in Tennessee. After that implementation in August 2022, fewer than 10 abortions have been performed per month.

Will Brewer from Tennessee Right to Life stated, “Because of pro-life legislators and Governor Lee, Tennessee is leading the nation in protecting the right to life of our most vulnerable citizens. Tennessee Right to Life and pro-life Tennesseans are grateful that our state leaders have made life a priority in our state.”

About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative  ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career.  Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others.  He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History.  Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com

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