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'There is no exception' Nashville attorney breaks down Tennessee's trigger law

'There is no exception' Nashville attorney breaks down Tennessee's trigger law (WZTV)
'There is no exception' Nashville attorney breaks down Tennessee's trigger law (WZTV)
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Tennessee’s abortion “trigger law” is now in effect—meaning it will become a Class "C" felony for a person who performs an abortion in most cases.

Nashville Attorney David Raybin joined FOX 17 News This Morning to discuss the ramifications of the law.

Raybin started by mentioning the “ambiguity” of the language in the trigger law, saying there are no exceptions to abortions. Effective immediately, elective abortions across the state are now banned.

“Tennessee elected to have a trigger ban, which says you cannot have an abortion unless the doctor can prove to a jury that it was done medically necessary to save the life of a woman,” Raybin said. “If a doctor cannot prove that, then the doctor could go to prison for three to six years.”

Raybin says the high sanctions will put a difficult burden on physicians.

“I cannot imagine a physician [performing the procedure] at all unless in the most emergency situations.”

ALSO READ | 'We're not done': Planned Parenthood CEO addresses Tennessee's trigger ban on abortions

Essentially, Tennessee’s state law is meant to deter physicians from performing elective abortions either surgically or through medication.

“There is no exception,” Raybin emphasized. “An exception is ‘You can’t hunt deer unless you have a hunting license in season.’ That’s what an exception is. That doesn’t apply here. This is designed to deter doctors.”

Tennessee joins Idaho and Texas in states where abortion is illegal. North Dakota’s trigger law is scheduled to take effect Friday.

Tennessee has been limiting abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy — when most women don't know they're pregnant — ever since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion rights case in June. It’s now banned completely.

“The decision about whether a physician is going to perform an abortion or not now has to be made in a courtroom, not in a hospital room.”

Additionally, the trigger law has no exemption for rape or incest. A woman's mental health would also not qualify for an abortion exemption. The exemptions are essentially the same under the state's ban halting abortion once fetal cardiac activity is detected. Both measures would make performing an abortion a felony and subject doctors to up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

District Attorney Glenn Frunk previously said he would not prosecute any cases involving abortions in Nashville.

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