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TN Gov. backs strict abortion bill passed by House

Ultrasound of unborn child
Ultrasound of unborn child((Source: WTVM))
Published: Mar. 8, 2019 at 5:41 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The Tennesseee House of Representatives passed a bill that would make abortion illegal after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Governor Bill Lee, speaking at the University of Memphis on Thursday, backed the bill.

"I will have said and continue to say that I would support legislation that would reduce the number of abortions in the state," Gov. Lee said.

The House passed the bill with a vote of 65 to 21.

It would ban most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, about six weeks into pregnancy--sometimes before a woman even knows she's pregnant. The bill must now pass the Senate.

"I took the bill very personally," Rep. London Lamar (D-TN) said. "I'm the only female in the house currently of child-bearing age and to me this bill is really inhumane and doesn't make exception for rape and incest. To me that takes away women's constitutional ability to control their bodies."

Democrats in the House tried to amend the bill to make exceptions for cases of rape or incest, but said their proposals were ignored.

The Tennessee Right to Life group is actually opposing the bill. They worry it will face legal challenges and could leave the state with weaker abortion laws if the new restrictions are thrown out.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee has warned it will sue the state if the bill becomes law. The ACLU argues that the ban is illegal.

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