Tennessee bill would allow fathers to prevent abortions

Two Tennessee lawmakers have introduced a bill that would allow the alleged father of an unborn child to file a court injunction and prevent the mother from getting an abortion.

The bill, which was introduced by Sen. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, and Rep. Jerry Sexton, R-Bean Station, states that a person can "petition a court for an injunction to prohibit a woman who is pregnant with the person's unborn child from obtaining an abortion," according to both House Bill 1079 and Senate Bill 949.

Fourteen days after the petition is filed, the motion to stop the abortion would be decided at a court hearing where both parties can present evidence.

FILE - Fetal ultrasound of a 4-month-old fetus.

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Another stipulation of the bill is the person who is seeking to stop the abortion does not need to prove he is the biological father, meaning DNA evidence is not needed.

The bill states all the petitioner needs is "a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity that is not subject to being rescinded or challenged."

FOX TV Stations reached out to both Pody and Sexton for comment.

The proposed bill does not specify if instances of rape apply.

Meanwhile, in South Carolina, other proposed abortion legislation that’s drawn attention is also making its way to approval.

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The proposal would likely ban almost all abortions in the state. It moved closer to final approval in a committee vote split along party lines last week.

The House Judiciary Committee voted 15-8 to pass the "South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act." The bill has already passed the Senate and the governor promises he will sign it, although the law is likely to be the subject of lengthy court battles before it could take effect.

The proposal would require doctors to use an ultrasound to try to detect a fetal heartbeat if they think pregnant women are at least eight weeks along. If they find a heartbeat and the pregnancy is not the result of rape or incest, an abortion cannot be performed unless the mother’s life is in danger.

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A fetal heartbeat can be detected as soon as six weeks after conception and before many women know they are pregnant.

About a dozen other states have passed similar bills, although they are tied up in court challenges. The main sponsor of the bill in South Carolina, Rep. John McCravy, R-Greenwood, said during his explanation of the bill that he expects the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn its 1973 abortion rights decision because of recent conservative justices added by former President Donald Trump.

"The Constitution in our nation has devolved into whatever nine justices say it means," McCravy said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.