Tennessee Republican lawmakers introduced a new abortion restriction law on Tuesday modeled after recent legislation in Texas that would ban most abortions.
The Volunteer State already has some of the strongest pro-life laws in the nation. The new bill would further limit abortions, allowing private citizens the ability to file civil lawsuits against those who perform an abortion.
“This bill is modeled directly after the legislation passed in Texas last year. Abortions since that bill has been passed have dropped 60% in Texas,” Republican Rep. Rebecca Alexander, the bill’s sponsor, told a House subcommittee on Tuesday.
The House panel has advanced the bill as introduced, though it would need to pass in both the state’s House and Senate before it could be be signed into law by the governor.
The recent Texas law has led to widespread criticism from abortion activists, however, the Supreme Court has allowed the legal measure to stand.
“The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed the Texas law to remain in place until a court challenge is decided on its merits. The Texas Supreme Court ruled against abortion providers last week, dealing what many consider to be the final blow to their legal challenges,” USA Today reported.
Tennessee’s move follows the Idaho House of Representatives, which passed a new bill on Monday to ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.
Senate Bill 1309, known as the “Fetal Heartbeat, Preborn Child Protection Act,” passed on Monday in a 51-14 vote. The bill has been sent to Republican Gov. Brad Little’s desk to sign.
The Daily Wire previously reported:
The bill was passed with strong support in the Republican-led state government.
“We heard in testimony in the committee; we heard in testimony here today that this will end many abortions in Idaho,” the bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Steven Harris said. “Let’s save some babies.”
Republican state Rep. Barbara Ehardt, who co-sponsored the legislation, also spoke on behalf of reducing abortions in her state.
“Abortion is not a constitutional right,” Ehardt said. “The Supreme Court in 1973 did something that was never allowed in the first place.”
In addition to Idaho, South Dakota introduced a similar “heartbeat” bill announced by Republican Gov. Kristi Noem on March for Life Day in January.
“Every human life is unique and beautiful from the moment it is conceived. Every life is worthy of our protection, worthy of the right to live,” Noem said in a statement regarding the announcement.
“We hope that this year’s March for Life will be the last and that the Supreme Court will finally protect every unborn life. But until that comes to pass, these bills will ensure that both unborn children and their mothers are protected in South Dakota,” she added.
Ohio introduced similar legislation in November. The pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute has predicted that at least 14 states could introduce legislation similar to the law in Texas.