(The Center Square) — Tennessee's trigger law could go into effect and outlaw most abortions statewide if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Human Life Protection Act passed in 2019 would "criminalize performing or attempting to perform an abortion, except in extreme cases where it is necessary to prevent death or serious and permanent bodily injury to the mother."
The law would go into effect 30 days following a possible Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Earlier this week, a Politico report that was later confirmed by the Supreme Court revealed an initial draft opinion that the court would overturn the 1973 landmark decision related to abortion and Casey v. Planned Parenthood, another abortion-related decision from 1992.
The Tennessee law would make it a Class C felony to perform or attempt to perform an abortion.
"I am concerned by the leak and any attempt to thwart justice," said Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee. "If the federal courts return full authority to the states, Tennessee's laws will automatically provide the maximum possible protection and offer a glimmer of redemption as America reconciles our troubled past.
"We are talking about families in crisis — not isolated clinical procedures — and our state will continue to provide protection, resources and care for both mother and child."
The trigger law is just one of several abortion-related bills passed in Tennessee since 2019, including a heartbeat law that would prevent an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy that is currently the subject of litigation.
The state also has an ultrasound law, which requires any physician conducting an abortion to perform an sonogram and make the images and heartbeat sound available for the mother.
Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk has said that he will refuse to prosecute abortion cases and stood by that statement on Monday night heading into Tuesday's local election.
"With regard to reproductive issues, the criminal law must not be used by the State to exercise control over a woman's body," Funk said. "As long as I am the elected District Attorney for the 20th Judicial District, I will not prosecute any woman who chooses to have a medical procedure to terminate a pregnancy or any medical doctor who performs this procedure at the request of their patient."
A statement on the potential ruling from Democratic parties, including Tennessee's, said that "in the wake of this decision, the Supreme Court's anticipated opinion will signal a return of power to the elected representatives of each state and territory," the statement said. "Therefore, it is important now, more than ever, that we protect and exercise those rights that remain intact — our First Amendment rights to association and to vote representatives into office who will stand firm and protect their constituents from the threats and whims of conservatives."