A proposed Tennessee bill would give fathers the ability to prevent their unborn children from being aborted.
State Sen. Mark Pody and state Rep. Jerry Sexton, both Republicans, sponsored legislation giving fathers the power to veto abortions by petitioning a court for an injunction.
The bill would also require the father to “execute a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity that is not subject to being rescinded or challenged.”
“I believe a father should have a right to say what’s gonna be happening to that child,” Pody said, according to the Tennessean.
“And if somebody is going to kill that child, he should be able to say, ‘No, I don’t want that child to be killed. I want to able to raise that child and love that child.’”
A judge could grant the father’s request as long as he can prove he is the biological father and if there is a “reasonable possibility” the mother would seek an abortion, the Tennessean reported. The bill does not make exceptions for cases of rape or incest.
The legislation is the sixth pro-life bill proposed in Tennessee this year.
This summer, the state passed legislation banning abortions after the unborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected and prohibiting abortions due to the baby’s sex, race or a diagnosis of Down Syndrome.
That bill has been held up by abortion advocates through legal challenges and ongoing court battles.
Francie Hunt, executive director of Tennessee Advocates for Planned Parenthood, called the proposed bill “insulting” and said it shows that lawmakers are “out of step with the dire needs” of Tennesseans.
“A pregnant person must have the ultimate control over their body and their pregnancy,” she said in a statement.
“The legislature needs to stop trying to distract the public from their leadership failures with increasingly stigmatizing abortion restrictions.”
“This unconstitutional legislation demonstrates the condescending mindset underlying this bill: that men should control women’s bodies,” Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, said in a statement.
“Women are not chattel and this bill needs to be stopped in its tracks.”
Meanwhile, South Carolina lawmakers on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed a bill banning abortions after the unborn child’s heartbeat can be detected.
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