Gov. Bill Lee SCOTUS Reaction, Critical Information

Tuesday, May 03, 2022 | 03:45pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee released the following reaction to the United States Supreme Court’s deliberations on Roe v. Wade and shared critical information about current Tennessee law.


“I am concerned by the leak and any attempt to thwart justice. If the federal courts return full authority to the states, Tennessee’s laws will automatically provide the maximum possible protection and offer a glimmer of redemption as America reconciles our troubled past. We are talking about families in crisis – not isolated clinical procedures – and our state will continue to provide protection, resources and care for both mother and child.” – Gov. Bill Lee

Laws Enacted Since 2019

Governor Lee has introduced and worked with the Tennessee General Assembly to pass maximum possible protection for pre-born children.

·         Anti-Discrimination Law – Prohibits abortion on the basis of sex, race or Down Syndrome (TCA 39-15-217)

·         Ultrasound Law – Requires a physician to perform an ultrasound, making the ultrasound images visible and the fetal heartbeat audible for the expecting mother (TCA 39-15-215)

·         Heartbeat Law – Prohibits an abortion where a fetal heartbeat exists, in increments beginning at six weeks (TCA 39-15-216)

            o   *Currently enjoined and subject to ongoing litigation

·         Trigger Law – Should the U.S. Supreme Court issue a decision overturning Roe v. Wade, this law would criminalize performing or attempting to perform an abortion, except in extreme cases where it is necessary to prevent death or serious and permanent bodily injury to the mother. (TCA 39-15-213)

            o   This law does not apply to the recipient of an abortion. It would take effect on the thirtieth day after the Supreme Court issues a judgment overturning Roe v. Wade.

In 2021, Tennessee successfully defended the 48-Hour Waiting Period law before the en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. (TCA 39-15-202)

Expanded Support for Families in Crisis

·         Supporting new and expecting mothers enrolled in TennCare by enhancing maternal health care coverage from 60 days to 12 months postpartum

·         Expanding TennCare’s Health Starts Initiative to support maternal health and holistic care for mothers and children

·         Reforming the TANF program to promote economic mobility and improve outcomes for parents and children

Investments in Public-Private Partnerships

·         Launching Tennessee Fosters Hope, a public-private partnership, to ensure every Tennessee child has a safe, loving home and make our state the most foster-friendly state in America

·         $433,000 to Psalm 139 Ministries to place ultrasounds in crisis pregnancy centers across the state

·         $1 million to Agape Child & Family Services to support expecting and new mothers

Ways to Care for Families in Crisis

Tennesseans who want to lend support to families in crisis are encouraged to get involved through the following organizations:

·         Hope Clinic for Women – more info here

·         Psalm 139 Project – more info here

·         Agape Child & Family Services – more info here