Tennessee Passes Last-Minute Bill Banning Abortion After Six Weeks

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The Tennessee state legislature passed a restrictive ban on abortions in the state during the early morning hours Friday in a closed-door session. Its passage came as a shock to many pro-choice advocates, as the bill was not on the legislative agenda. (Lili Zolt / Flickr)

On Friday, the Tennessee legislature passed a bill banning abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected—generally after six weeks of gestation.

The bill was passed as part of larger budget negotiations held between Tennessee’s two legislative chambers. Its passage came as a shock to many pro-choice advocates, as the bill was not on the legislative agenda. The bill is expected to be signed into law by Republican Gov. Bill Lee.

The bill classifies as felony all abortions after six weeks—meaning providers performing abortions after this could face up to 15 years in jail and a $10,000 fine….

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