Tenn. Gov. Expected to Sign New Abortion Bills

     (CN) – A bill requiring a 48-hour waiting period for abortions and another introducing a new regulation on abortion clinics are awaiting Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s signature.
     One bill, passed by the Tennessee House of Representatives 79-18 on Tuesday, requires a 48-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions. It was passed by the Tennessee Senate 27-5 on April 15.
     “This amendment provides that, except in a medical emergency that prevents compliance, no abortion will be performed until a waiting period of 48 hours has elapsed after the attending physician or referring physician has provided the information required,” the bill reads.
     The required information from the physician includes informing the woman of the risks of both continued pregnancy and abortion, along with a description of the abortion method and post-abortion instructions.
     Another bill requires that any facility performing abortions be licensed as an ambulatory surgical treatment center, unless the office performs 50 or fewer abortions per year. It was passed by the state house 80-17 on Tuesday and 28-4 by the state senate April 15.
     Gov. Haslam’s spokesman David Smith told Courthouse News that he expects the governor to sign both bills.
     “Like he does with all legislation that comes to him, the governor will review the bills in their final form before taking any action, but I anticipate he’ll sign them,” Smith said in an email.
     Smith also said he’s not sure exactly when Gov. Haslam will get the bill on his desk.
     “The legislation has to go through a specific process before it actually comes to our office. At this point in the session with so many pieces of legislation coming through that can take days before it’s transmitted to the governor for action,” he said.
     The bill requiring abortion clinic licensing was introduced by Sen. Joey Hensley, a Republican from Hohenwald, Tenn. The bill requiring a 48-hour waiting period for abortions was brought forward by Mt. Juliet, Tenn. Republican Sen. Mae Beavers.

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