Trigger Law Stays On Hold Until Aug. 25
This information is provided by 28th District State Sen. Joey Hensley (R-Hohenwald), MD, who represents Giles and five other counties.
On Aug. 25, Tennessee’s Human Life Protection Act, also known as the Trigger Act, will take effect.
Passed in 2019, the legislation restores Tennessee’s strong abortion laws prior to the Roe v. Wade ruling, preventing all abortions in the state except when the life of the mother is at risk. "I’m proud to have sponsored this legislation and am grateful to the U.S. Supreme Court for returning abortion regulation to the states," Hensley said.
"Tennessee now stands firmly on the side of life."
The Human Life Protection Act creates a Class C felony for a person who performs or attempts to perform an abortion during a woman’s pregnancy, unless it was performed to prevent the death of the pregnant woman or serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.
A Class C felony is punishable by 3-15 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Under this law, the mother is not punished. And medical treatment that results in accidental death or unintentional injury to the unborn child will not be a violation of this law.
Until Aug. 25, the Heartbeat Bill is the law of the land in Tennessee. That legislation protects unborn children at six weeks gestational age who have a heartbeat, and it also protects unborn children at eight weeks gestational age or older.
Passed in 2020 but blocked by a federal judge until June of this year, the bill effectively serves as Tennessee’s interim regulation on abortion between the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark overturning of Roe v. Wade and the effective date of the Human Life Protection Act. Below I will briefly summarize the recent legal and legislative events that have made Tennessee one of the most pro-life states in the country.
On June 24 of this year, the U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — the case dealing with Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy — issued an opinion overturning Roe v. Wade and its progeny, allowing each state to regulate or prohibit abortion.
Immediately following the opinion, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery sought an emergency motion asking the Sixth Circuit to stay a preliminary injunction against the Heartbeat Bill.
The Attorney General’s motion on the Heartbeat Bill was granted, and the law took effect at the end of June.
The Human Life Protection Act goes into effect 30 days after the Supreme Court issues its formal judgement. While the opinion was released in June, the formal judgement was issued July 26, thereby starting the 30-day clock until the effective date of The Human Life Protection Act.
"I’m thrilled Tennessee is entering a new chapter in history in which the God-given right to life is strictly protected.
"I’ve fought hard for this right, it’s the most important work I’ve done, and I most certainly have not done it alone.
"I want to sincerely thank each and every Tennessean who has contributed to this effort. You have fought for life because you, like me, have always known an unborn child has a right to live. Now our laws recognize that, too."
Republican AGs Sue US Agency Over LGBTQ School Guidance
(AP) More than 20 Republican attorneys general filed a lawsuit against President Joe Biden's administration over a Department of Agriculture school meal program that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The challenge, led by Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery, claims that the federal government is attempting to force states and schools to follow antidiscrimination requirements that "misconstrue the law."
The coalition of attorneys general are hoping for a similar result to a separate challenge from earlier this month when a Tennessee judge temporarily barred two federal agencies from enforcing directives issued by Biden's administration that extended protections for LGBTQ people in schools and workplaces.
The judge sided with the attorneys general, ruling that directives infringed on states' right to enact laws, such as banning students from participating in sports based on their gender identity or requiring schools and businesses to provide bathrooms and showers to accommodate transgender people.
"This case is, yet again, about a federal agency trying to change law, which is Congress' exclusive prerogative," Slatery said in a statement. "The USDA simply does not have that authority. "
In May, the USDA announced that it would include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity as a violation of Title IX, the sweeping 1972 law that guarantees equity between the sexes in "any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."
The directive requires states to review allegations of discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, as well as update their policies and signage.
Sen. Hensley may be reached at 425 Rep. John Lewis Way N., Suite 742, Nashville TN 37243, by calling 615-741-3100, or toll-free 1-800-449-8366 ext. 13100, or by faxing 615-253-0231.
His district address is 855 Summertown Highway, Hohenwald TN, 38462; he may reached at 931-796-2018, or his cell phone at 931-212-8823, or by E-Mail: