Tennessee lawmakers proposed a bill that would allow biological fathers of an unborn child to prevent mothers from getting an abortion.

The bill was introduced on Feb. 10 by Sen. Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) and Rep. Jerry Sexton (R-Bean Station). It states 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.

After passing on its second consideration Feb. 11, it has since been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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If the bill is passed, it will go into effect on July 1. 

The bill states that 14 days after the alleged father files the petition, a court hearing will be held where both parties will have the chance to present their own evidence. 

The alleged father does not have to provide DNA evidence that he is in fact the father of the unborn child. The bill states that only “a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity that is not subject to being rescinded or challenged.”

If the mother violates the petition and chooses to get an abortion within 14 days after the petition is filed, the bill states “the court may hold the respondent in civil or criminal contempt and punish the respondent in accordance with the law.”

The bill does not specify if instances of rape or incest apply.

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Written ByHaley Weger

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