The state of Tennessee is attempting to introduce strong pro-life laws which would create a near total ban on abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy.
This week the state’s judiciary committee will debate amendments on a fetal heartbeat Bill. While the original Bill sought to restrict abortion after the baby’s heartbeat could be detected – around 6 weeks, but it can be detected earlier – the amendments added to this Bill intend to protect unborn life throughout all nine months of pregnancy. Ending a pregnancy prematurely would only be permitted if the mother’s life were in danger or if she is likely to experience serious injury.
Tennessee will likely join a national trend which has seen six other states – Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Ohio – introduce strong pro-life legislation which protects unborn life throughout all nine months of pregnancy or from an early gestational age.
Along with the other states seeking to implement pro-life laws, Tennessee has already faced legal challenges to this Bill and is likely to face further challenges. The implementation of most of these pro-life laws has so far been blocked by federal judges.
However state Senator Kerry Roberts said that those behind these Bills are not concerned that they are being blocked in court, as these Bills form part of a long term legal challenge to the Roe vs Wade decision which prevents states from banning abortion.
Supporters of these pro-life Bills hope that they will ultimately be able to challenge and overturn Roe vs Wade in the Supreme Court. Doing so would return decisions regarding abortion law back to the states.
In anticipation of a possible successful legal challenge to Roe vs Wade states have recently been producing their own abortion legislation. Not only have some states attempted to enact strong pro-life laws, others such as New York, Nevada, Illinois and Vermont, have introduced their own extreme abortion laws which offer nearly unrestricted access to abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy.
Due to changes on the Supreme Court, many pro-lifers are hopeful the Court now has enough pro-life judges that, if Roe vs Wade were challenged, there is a reasonable chance that it might be overturned.
As states in the US enact legislation designed to protect unborn life, Northern Ireland will have an extreme abortion regime imposed on it by Westminster unless the Parliamentary Assembly is able to reconvene by 21st October.