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Tennessee Fetal Assault Bill (SB 659)

This law was last updated on Aug 29, 2019


This law is Anti–Choice

State

Tennessee

Number

SB 659

Status

Failed to Pass

Proposed

Feb 6, 2019

Topics

Substance Abuse During Pregnancy

Full Bill Text

www.capitol.tn.gov

As introduced, SB 659 would have allowed an individual to be prosecuted for assault for the illegal use of a narcotic while pregnant, if their child is born addicted to or harmed by the narcotic drug and the addiction or harm is a result of their illegal use of a narcotic drug taken while pregnant.

The bill would have made it an affirmative defense if the individual actively enrolled in a long term addiction recovery program before the child was born, remained in the programs after delivery, and successfully completed the program, regardless of whether the child is born addicted to, dependent upon, or harmed by the narcotic drug.


Medical experts are opposed to criminalizing pregnancy outcomes resulting from drug use, because it can discourage women who use drugs from seeking prenatal care, or even encourage them to abort a wanted pregnancy rather than risk prosecution. Even some anti-choice groups are opposed to the bill because it could encourage more abortions. (Source.)


Related Legislation

Companion bill to HB 1168.

Similar to SB 1381, which failed to pass in 2017.

Similar to the Fetal Assault Law of 2014, which expired on July 1, 2016.

Similar to SB 1629/HB 1660, which sought to make the fetal assault law of 2014 permanent. Both bills were introduced in 2016 and failed to pass.


Latest Action

2/6/19 – Introduced.

Update #1

The bill was amended and rewritten to create the criminal offense of being in possession of a child-like sex doll.

The new bill makes it a felony to possess a child-like sex doll. It would be a misdemeanor to knowingly sell or distribute a child-like sex doll, or to knowingly transport a child-like sex doll into the state or within the state with the intent to sell or distribute.

The new version of the bill passed and was signed into law.


People

Co-sponsor

Primary Sponsor