In Tennessee

After Roe in Tennessee, abortion is illegal in most circumstances. Hear from Family Action Council of Tennessee about what’s at stake, and how you can be part of the fight for life. Then, keep reading to find out more about your state’s post-Roe abortion laws.”

After Roe, states have an even greater responsibility to protect life. Partner with your state’s family policy council to ensure that your state is pro-life, from conception all the way to natural death!

Connect with Family Action Council of Tennessee


After Roe, does my state ban nearly all abortions or allow nearly all abortions?

Tennessee bans nearly all abortions after Roe. It passed a “trigger law” that institutes a near-total abortion ban, with exceptions. TN ST § 39-15-213.



What is my state’s next step in the fight for life, now that Roe is overturned?

Tennessee is in great shape now that Roe v. Wade is overturned. Our state’s top priority is to protect our trigger law. But we aren’t stopping there. We will work to advance constitutional arguments and litigation so that Tennessee leads the way in ensuring a right to life for all persons is recognized in the U.S. Constitution.


Below, we’ve summarized what abortion laws are in your state after Roe.

Abortion Limits, Exceptions and Enforcement

Limitations on abortions

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If my state won’t ban all abortions, what are the limits to abortion?

Because Tennessee has a “trigger law” banning almost all abortions, Tennessee’s other, lesser limitations on abortion are no longer necessary. TN ST § 39-15-213.


Exceptions to any limitations

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Are there any exceptions to those limitations placed on abortion?

The trigger law includes an exception for when an abortion is necessary to save the mother’s life “or to prevent serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.” TN ST § 39-15-213.


Penalties for performing an illegal abortion

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What are the penalties to abortion providers for committing an illegal abortion (one of the forms of abortion that my state has limited under the law)?

A violation of the trigger law is a class C felony. TN ST § 39-15-213.



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When abortion laws are violated, who can file a lawsuit to enforce their rights and the law?

No one at this time.


Special standards of care

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Does my state impose a special medical standard of care on abortion providers?

A physician must perform the abortion in the manner which gives the unborn child the best opportunity to survive. TN ST § 39-15-213.


Protecting Fundamental Rights


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Does my state give parents the right to consent for their child to get an abortion?

Consent from one parent is required; however, this state has a method where a minor can obtain permission from the courts to receive an abortion without parental notice or consent. The trigger law has rendered this provision unnecessary. Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 37-10-303.


Medical professionals

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Does my state have conscience protections for medical professionals who do not want to participate in abortions?

Physicians may refuse to perform abortions and other individuals may refuse to participate in abortions. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-15-204.

Hospitals may refuse to permit abortion performance or accept a patient for an abortion. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-15-205.”


Babies Born Alive

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Are there legal protections for babies born alive following a botched abortion in my state?

Born-alive infants surviving botched abortions are granted the same rights to medical treatment as an infant of similar medical status prematurely born spontaneously. Tenn. Code Ann. § 35-15-206.

Prematurely born-alive infants after voluntary abortions are considered abandoned under custody rules. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-15-207.


Safety & Health of Women

Physician-only requirement

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Does an abortion have to be provided by a licensed physician in my state?

Yes, one must be a physician to perform abortions in Tennessee. However, the trigger law has rendered this provision unnecessary. TN ST § 39-15-213.


Informed consent

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Does my state’s law require that a woman give informed consent and/or receive counseling prior to allowing an abortion to be performed?

Counseling and informed consent are required; however, this provision would most likely become unnecessary when the trigger law takes effect. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-15-202.


Waiting period

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Does my state place any waiting requirement on abortion so that a mother has more time to decide?

A 48-hour waiting period after counseling and informed consent is required; however, the trigger law has rendered this provision unnecessary. TN ST § 39-15-213.