NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has signed a bill into law creating a mandatory waiting period before getting an abortion in Tennessee.
Under the new law signed Monday, women would need to wait at least 48 hours before undergoing the procedure.
The House approved the measure on a 79-18 vote, while the Senate passed its version 24-2.
The governor previously signed into law another bill that requires facilities or physician offices to be licensed as ambulatory surgical treatment centers if they perform more than 50 abortions in a year.
The legislation came after voters in November approved a constitutional amendment giving state lawmakers more power to regulate abortions. The ballot measure overturned a 2000 Supreme Court ruling that had thrown out laws imposing similar restrictions.
Note: Right to Life press release is below.
News release from Tennessee Right to Life
Nashville— Responding to Monday’s signing by Governor Bill Haslam of legislation requiring informed consent and waiting period provisions, the state’s oldest and largest pro-life organization expressed appreciation to the state’s voters and elected officials.
“Women and girls considering abortion in our state deserve relevant details and adequate time to make fully-informed decisions about the fate of their unborn child,” said Brian Harris, president of Tennessee Right to Life. “We are grateful to the voters who approved Amendment 1 and to the public officials who have fulfilled their commitment to restore common-sense protections for women, girls and unborn children in our state.”
“Women and girls considering abortion in our state deserve accurate details about the procedure, and adequate time to make a fully-informed decision which will determine the fate of their unborn child,” said Harris. Too many women and families regret that they had not taken more time or received fuller information before deciding on their abortions. For some, time and information could have changed both their decision and their lives.
“Now women and girls will be assured of additional information and adequate time to ensure that their decision is fully informed,” said Harris. “Women will be empowered and lives will be saved as a result of these common-sense safeguards.”