Tennessee lawmaker says his abortion bill is constitutional

Apr 13, 2017

Rep. Matthew Hill
Credit capitol.tn.gov
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The sponsor of a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks in Tennessee has delayed the legislation for a week to give lawmakers a chance to read the opinion of the attorney general, who has called sections "constitutionally suspect."

Republican Rep. Matthew Hill also defended the legislation on Wednesday.

The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks if a doctor determines the fetus is viable. Exceptions would exist for mothers who would otherwise die or be severely hurt. Criminal penalties could be included for doctors.

Attorney General Herbert Slatery's opinion says the bill impermissibly subjects doctors to criminal liability while working in good faith to determine what's medically necessary.

It says another constitutional issue is failing to account for severe mental and emotional harm when considering if an abortion is medically necessary.