Tag Archives: embryo

Bill Allowing Prosecution for Embryo Deaths Goes to Governor

The Senate approved and sent to Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday legislation that allows criminal prosecution for causing the death of “a human embryo of fetus at any stage of gestation in utero.”
The bill (HB3517) marks the second change in two years to a law that since 1989 had it a crime to cause the death of a “viable fetus.” That was changed last year to eliminate the word “viable.”
Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mount Juliet, the sponsor, said legislators have since learned that, under the scientific definition of a fetus, the term only applies when eight weeks are more has passed since conception. Adding “embryo” covers from the moment of conception.
The bill passed the Senate 30-2. The House has approved 80-18 last week.
All votes against the bill came from Democrats, some of whom contended in floor debate that “embryo” is too broad.

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House Votes for Embryo Protection

The state House of Representatives approved a bill allowing homicide and assault prosecutions for the death of embryos in the earliest stages of development, in a vote tinged by the decades-long fight over abortion, reports the Tennessean.
House lawmakers voted 80-18 for a measure that would extend criminal punishments for killing a fetus to the first eight weeks of pregnancy.
Supporters said the bill would clarify a law passed last year that made it easier to prosecute people for harming fetuses. Opponents said charges of harming an embryo will be difficult to prove because many pregnancies end naturally at that stage.
They suggested the measure really is meant to set up future battles over abortion. Tennessee law has long allowed prosecutors to bring two charges when a person kills or assaults a pregnant woman. A charge of harming a fetus can be brought only as a second charge to harming the pregnant woman as well.