Tenn. AG says abortion bill may not stand up in court

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee’s state attorney general says bills in the General Assembly that would outlaw abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected by ultrasound may not be able to stand up in court.

However, the opinion written by Attorney General Herbert Slatery said a provision that would force women to get an ultrasound before getting an abortion is constitutionally defensible.

The opinion said the heartbeat provision is constitutionally suspect because similar laws have been blocked by federal courts. A 2013 North Dakota law that banned abortions after fetal heartbeat detection has since been struck down. A federal court has also barred Arkansas from enforcing its own fetal heartbeat law.

The abortion bills being considered were sponsored by Rep. Micah Van Huss of Jonesborough and Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet, both Republicans.

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