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Tennessee Right to Life Legislative Action Center


Governor's Signature Strengthens Protections for Viable Unborn Children

Nashville, May 12, 2017--The state's oldest and largest pro-life organization publicly thanked Governor Bill Haslam on Friday for  signing into law the Tennessee Infants Protection Act (SB 1180).  The bill strengthens protections for unborn children and abortion-vulnerable women and girls by preventing elective abortions, except in rare instances, after an unborn child is determined to be viable (able to survive with or without medical assistance.) The provision also establishes a presumption of viability at 24 weeks of pregnancy (LMP) and requires a medical assessment to gauge viability of any unborn child when an abortion is sought beginning at 20 weeks of gestational age. 

"Tennessee Right to Life thanks Governor Haslam for his demonstrated commitment to doing everything possible constitutionally to defend and protect vulnerable unborn children," said Brian Harris, the organization's president.  "His administration has been tireless in supporting common-sense measures which affirm the dignity human life in our state and pro-life Tennesseans are clearly very grateful to the Governor," Harris said.

Earlier this month, the pro-life measure was overwhelmingly passed by the state Senate 27-3 and in the state House 69-18. The Tennessee Infants Protection Act will take effect July 1, 2017.

Please visit to thank Governor Haslam for signing the bill.

Click here for more information.


Update on Pro-Abortion Legal Challenges to Amendment 1, Pro-Life Laws

Tennessee Right to Life has become aware that, due to an ongoing shortage of judges in the Middle Tennessee District Federal Court, a Michigan judge has been named to oversee the challenge of Tennessee's pro-life laws.  The lawsuit Adams & Boyle v. Slatery is brought by independent owner-operators of private abortion facilities in Bristol, Nashville and Memphis and seeks to strike common-sense provisions requiring informed consent and a 48-hour waiting period for women and girls considering abortion, hospital admitting privileges for abortion providers and health department inspection and licensing requirements for abortion facilities in Tennessee.

In December 2015, by agreement of both parties, Judge Kevin Sharp agreed to place the case on hold pending the outcome of the Texas case with similar issues being taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court (Whole Woman's Health.) That case was decided in June 2016 with the challenged admitting privileges law and abortion facility standards being struck down in Texas.

Judge Sharp announced his retirement from the District Court effective April 15, 2017. Now, Michigan Senior Federal District Judge Bernard A. Friedman, by special designation, has asked both parties to prepare for trial.

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WASHINGTON – The Trump Administration reinstated a policy Monday, April 3, directing United States foreign assistance dollars away from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on the basis that its activities in China are complicit with that nation's coercive population control program, the implementation of which includes forced abortion and involuntary sterilization. United States funding will be directed instead to other family planning and health programs not involved in China's population control program.

"We congratulate President Trump and his administration for making it abundantly clear the United States will not support a United Nations agency that cooperates in China's brutally repressive population control policies," said National Right to Life President Carol Tobias. "I heartily applaud what we at National Right to Life are seeing from this pro-life administration."

The State Department memorandum issued yesterday determined that the UNFPA was in violation of the Kemp-Kasten anti-coercion law. The amendment prohibits giving U.S. "population assistance" funds to "any organization or program which, as determined by the President of the United States, supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization."

As the memo states:

The Chinese Government's Population and Family Planning Law, even as amended in 2015, and related regulations and practices at the central and Provincial levels, clearly constitute a "program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization," and are an integral part of the comprehensive population-control program the Chinese Government advances. While there is no evidence that UNFPA directly engages in coercive abortions or involuntary sterilizations in China, the agency continues to partner with the [National Health and Family Planning Commission] on family planning, and thus can be found to support, or participate in the management of China's coercive policies for purposes of the Kemp-Kasten Amendment.

Click here to read the rest of the article.