Tennessee lawmakers propose bill allowing fathers to stop abortion

An ultra sound of a baby. (Getty Images)

A pair of lawmakers in Tennessee want to give fathers a say in abortion, the practice of dealing with unwanted or even “inconvenient” children by taking their lives before their mothers can deliver them.

Senate Bill 494 would let the biological father of an unborn child seek a court injunction to prevent the mother from legally killing the child through abortion, reports FOX 8 in Ohio.

Introduced by Republican state Sen. Mark Pody in early February, SB 494 states that “a person may petition a court with jurisdiction over domestic relations matters to request an injunction to prohibit a woman who is pregnant with the person’s unborn child from obtaining an abortion.”

The bill requires the petitioner to prove he is the child’s biological father within two weeks of filing the injunction. DNA evidence is not required for this proof. The petitioner must also prove that a “reasonable probability” exists that the mother will seek an abortion prior to giving birth. If the woman were to get an abortion despite the injunction, “the court may hold the respondent in civil or criminal contempt and punish the respondent in accordance with the law.”

Read SB 494/HB 1079 in its entirety here.

SB 494 passed the Tennessee Senate on second consideration on Feb. 11. It has since been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Republican House Rep. Jerry Sexton introduced the same bill (House Bill 1079) on then same day, and it was passed on first consideration.

If passed and approved by Tennessee’s governor, the bills would become effective on July 1.


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