Tennessee lawmakers propose bill allowing biological father to stop abortion

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An ultra sound of a baby. (Getty Images)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJW) — Two Tennessee lawmakers recently proposed legislation that would allow the biological father of an unborn child to seek a court injunction to prevent a woman from having an abortion.

Senate Bill 494 was introduced by Republican state Sen. Mark Pody last week.

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 unborn child’s biological father within 14 days of filing the injunction. DNA evidence is not required to prove paternity.

The petitioner must also prove there is a “reasonable probability” that the mother will seek an abortion prior to giving birth to the unborn child.

If the woman were to violate the injunction and get an abortion, “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, below:

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

Republican House Rep. Jerry Sexton also introduced the same bill (House Bill 1079) on Thursday. It was passed on first consideration.

If these bills are passed and approved by the Tennessee governor, they would go into effect on July 1.

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