Tennessee House Passes Fetal Heartbeat Bill

The Tennessee House this morning passed controversial legislation that would ban abortions after a heartbeat is detected, the Tennessean reports. The bill — HB0077/SB1236 — sponsored by Rep. Micah Van Huss, R-Jonesborough, is among the most restrictive in the nation and has received criticism from even unlikely opposition, such as Tennessee Catholic bishops and the Tennessee Right to Life organization. Several lawmakers suggested amendments to the bill but were unsuccessful. One proffered by Rep. Gloria Johnson, D-Knoxville, would allow abortions in the case of rape or incest, however, Speaker Glen Casada did not acknowledge her. Though the majority of proposed amendments were less contentious to lawmakers, some Republicans feared that adopting them would "weaken" the party's moral high ground.

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