Today in a ceremonial signing, Gov. Bill Haslam signed the Tennessee Infants Protection Act. The law will take effect on July 1.
According to a press release from Senator Joey Hensley (R-Hohenwald), this act calls for a doctor to test viability before an abortion when the woman is at least 20 weeks past the gestational age. The act also creates a rebuttable presumption that an unborn child of at least 24 weeks is viable.
Heath exceptions can be made for abortions performed after the 20-week time frame, including those where the mother is in imminent danger of death or if there is a serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.
In the press release, Hensley said, "We want every child that has a chance at life to have that life. Empowering doctors [to] use their medical judgment and expertise to determine viability is a powerful step in protecting Tennesseans, both the born and unborn.
Tennessee joins the 20 other states with similar post-viability laws, all of which have never been contested in the courts.