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Originally published as "Legislature Should Focus on Supporting Tennesseans Instead of Banning Abortion," Tennessean, March 17, 2022.
Tennessee lawmakers are proposing a draconian bill (HB2779/SB2582) that completely bans abortion at any stage of gestation and allows anyone to sue abortion providers and loved ones of abortion patients for a $10,000 bounty. It is modeled on the Texas six-week abortion ban enacted in September 2021, which has already shown itself to be both harmful and largely ineffective at stopping abortions from occurring.
What is happening in Texas mirrors what we know from a global perspective, where countries with the most restrictions are home to the highest rates of abortion complications. Banning abortion leads not only to an increase in dangerous, illegal abortions, but also would increase maternal mortality, which is already abysmally high in the U.S.