Tennessee lawmakers are trying to sneak the total abortion ban as an amendment to HB 2779, a bill involving abortion providers, the state medical board, and some nonsense about “informed consent.”
We couldn’t even find the the full text of the amendment on the Tennessee Legislature’s website (which says there are no amendments to this bill), so you can see how seriously anti-abortion lawmakers are taking “democracy.” This screenshot here is the best we’ve got.
The amendment uses a Texas SB 8-style enforcement mechanism to get around the ~pesky~ problem of the constitution, setting a $10,000 bounty on abortion providers, pregnant people seeking an abortion, and anyone who helps them.
The only exceptions are in the case of imminent death or “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function”—although specifically excluding their mental health.
Oh, and there’s a whole section about “severability,” which means lawmakers are anticipating that some parts of the bill may be struck down by the courts (who, though, the Sixth Circuit? The Supreme Court?) and want to make sure they keep as much of it in place as possible.
Legalese aside, people in Tennessee are going to be hurt by this bill, as one local medical provider can attest to. And a disproportionate number of them will be Black and brown pregnant people, as all abortion bans do.
I am writing to you as a concerned citizen and physician. #HB2779 or "The Life Protection Act" is due to go before the House Health Subcommittee tomorrow. I am very worried about the ramifications of this bill, which apparently seeks to outlaw all #abortion in this state. /1
— Dr. Katrina #GetVaccinated Green MD (@KGreenMD) March 14, 2022
Tennessee lawmakers have already made it clear that they don’t care about any of this, especially consider that any family member of a rapist could use the law to sue the victim of rape for proceeding with an abortion.
We’ll say it. It’s fucked.
And why stop there? Tennessee lawmakers are also considering HB 2314, which would establish fetal “personhood” and further establish a system of criminalization for pregnant people.
The bill now goes before the full health committee for discussion, which is scheduled for Wednesday.
This post was adapted from a Twitter thread.