State advances 6-week abortion ban, lawsuit filed

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Amid nationwide unrest and a global pandemic that wrecked the state budget, Tennessee lawmakers wrapped up a legislative session by advancing an anti-abortion proposal that includes some of the strictest restrictions in the country.

The Friday passage of the bill shocked Democratic lawmakers and reproductive rights activists who had been assured for weeks that the GOP-dominated Senate would not take up the measure.

Senate leaders had promised only to take up coronavirus- or budget-related proposals.

However, just after midnight, the chamber advanced the abortion bill backed by Republican Gov. Bill Lee as budget negotiations stalled.

An emergency lawsuit has already been filed seeking to block the implementation of the measure.

Similar legislation has been enacted in other states, such as Mississippi and Georgia, but has been blocked by legal challenges.

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