A major abortion law is set to take effect in Tennessee following the Supreme Court ruling in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which effectively overturned Roe v. Wade. 

“Pursuant to the Human Life Protection Act, 2019 Tenn. Pub. Acts, ch. 351, § 3, this letter serves to notify the Tennessee Code Commission that the U.S. Supreme Court issued the judgment today in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, 142 S. Ct. 2228 (2022). Dobbs overruled, in whole or in part, Roe v. Wade … thereby restoring to the states their authority to prohibit abortion,” says a letter to the Tennessee Codes Commission written by Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III.

“Accordingly, the Human Life Protection Act, codified at Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-15-213, shall take effect on the thirtieth day following the Supreme Court issuing the judgment in Dobbs,” the letter said. “That effective date is August 25, 2022.”

The letter to the Tennessee Codes Commission is required by law to implement the “trigger law,” which was passed in 2019 and conditional on Roe v. Wade being overruled.

The law, makes it a Class C felony for a physician to provide an abortion in Tennessee.

There is an exception to the law, though.

Expectant mothers whose lives may be in danger from carrying a child to term will still be legally allowed to seek an abortion. A physician must make a “good faith medical judgment, based upon the facts known to the physician at the time,” in order for the abortion to legally be carried out.

Gov. Bill Lee (R), who signed the pro-life bill into law, celebrated the Dobbs decision when it was handed down in June.

He said:

“Today’s landmark Supreme Court decision marks the beginning of a hopeful, new chapter for our country,” said Gov. Lee. “After years of heartfelt prayer and thoughtful policy, America has an historic opportunity to support women, children and strong families while reconciling the pain and loss caused by Roe v. Wade. We have spent years preparing for the possibility that authority would return to the states, and Tennessee’s laws will provide the maximum possible protection for both mother and child. In the coming days, we will address the full impacts of this decision for Tennessee.”

Similar trigger laws will take effect this week in Idaho and Texas.

– – –

Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Pregnant Woman” by Caleb Oquendo.