Proposed Bill That Will Make Assistance in Minors’ Abortions a Felony Advances


In Tennessee, contentious bill proposing to criminalize adults who aid minors in obtaining abortions made significant progress in the General Assembly subcommittee on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

The legislation, championed by state Rep. Jason Zachary, a Republican from Farragut, introduces the Class C felony of “abortion trafficking of a minor.”

If enacted, the bill would apply to any adult who is not the child’s parent or legal guardian, extending to grandparents, siblings, aunts, and uncles.

The measure received heated debate and scrutiny during the House Population Health Subcommittee meeting, where abortion-rights advocates and medical professionals filled the hearing room.

After approximately an hour of deliberation, the subcommittee passed the bill along partisan lines on Tuesday afternoon. However, the decision elicited strong reactions from those present, including Nashville resident Macy Fluharty, who addressed the subcommittee with concerns about the potential repercussions of the legislation.

“If a pregnant minor confides in a trusted adult seeking help, the person they are trusting is now forced to choose between their own freedom and the freedom of an innocent child,” Fluharty emphasized during her testimony.

The bill is now slated to proceed to the House Health Committee for further consideration.

If approved, it could have far-reaching implications for reproductive rights and healthcare access in Tennessee.

Abortion-rights proponents argue that such legislation could place vulnerable minors in dangerous situations by limiting their access to confidential and safe reproductive healthcare options.

Conversely, supporters of the bill contend that it is necessary to protect the sanctity of life and prevent coerced or unauthorized abortions.

The polarizing nature of the proposed legislation underscores the ongoing debate surrounding reproductive rights and parental involvement in minors’ healthcare decisions.

As the bill moves forward in the legislative process, its potential impact on Tennessee’s healthcare landscape remains a subject of intense scrutiny and debate.