Tennessee attorney general questions abortion-ban bill

Apr 7, 2017

Tenn. Attorney General Herbert Slattery III
Credit tn.gov

  NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee's attorney general is questioning the constitutionality of a bill banning most abortions after 20 weeks.

Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III is the top law enforcement official in Tennessee, a conservative Republican state. He also is Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's former top legal adviser.

In an opinion filed last week, he called two parts of the bill sponsored by two Republican state lawmakers "constitutionally suspect."

One part of the bill would prohibit abortions at a gestational age of 20 weeks, unless a doctor deems abortion necessary to preserve the mother's life or health. Slatery's opinion says the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked a similar law in Arizona.

The other would require abortions after three months, but before 20 weeks, to be performed in a state-licensed hospital by a licensed physician.