Republican Lawmaker Revives Tennessee's Failed Fetal Heartbeat Bill | Nashville Public Radio

Republican Lawmaker Revives Tennessee's Failed Fetal Heartbeat Bill

Jan 23, 2019

A Republican lawmaker from East Tennessee has, once again, introduced a bill that would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat has been detected.

A similar bill stalled out in 2017, in part because of a lack of support from the anti-abortion group Tennessee Right to Life.

The state’s Attorney General, a Republican, also classified the bill as constitutionally suspect. 

But, Rep. Micah Van Huss, R-Jonesborough, said this is something he’ll keep pushing until it becomes law.

“One of our primary responsibilities as government is to keep our citizens safe. And the killing of our citizens need to stop," Van Huss told WPLN Monday. "So I’m about small government, but I believe the government needs to protect life.”

Van Huss said that there’s momentum in the anti-abortion movement, in part due to President Trump’s appointments to the courts.

But the bill is expected to create debate in the House. Knoxville Democrat Gloria Johnson said she will fight it.

“If you don’t believe that a woman has complete control over her own health, you don’t believe that women are equal," Johnson said. "And it is denying equality to deny the woman control over her own body.”

The bill does not yet have a sponsor in the Senate.