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Tennessee lawmakers propose bill that would let biological fathers stop abortions

Tennessee lawmakers have proposed a bill that would let a biological father stop a woman from getting an abortion.

The bill introduced by Republican state Sen. Mark Pody says “[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 Senate bill was passed on second consideration on Thursday and has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

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An injunction would only be granted to an individual if there is evidence the woman is considering an abortion and if there is evidence the man is the father. However, DNA evidence is not required for the injunction. 

Once the injunction is issued, the court must hold a hearing with both parties within 14 days. If a woman violates the injunction and gets an abortion, “the court may hold the respondent in civil or criminal contempt and punish the respondent in accordance with the law.”

Republican House Rep. Jerry Sexton introduced the same bill on Wednesday and it passed first consideration on Thursday. 

If the bills are passed and approved by the governor, they would take effect starting July 1.