Tennessee Abortion Laws

Code Section
39-15-201 to 209; 37-10-301 to 307

Statutory Definition of Illegal Abortion
(1) Failure to meet standards for legal abortion including residency requirement; (2) attempted criminal abortion; (3) coerced or compelled abortion; (4) administering to pregnant woman medicine, drug, or any substance or instrument with intent to destroy such child(5) Partial Birth abortion: no person shall knowingly perform a partial birth abortion except when necessary to save life of the mother if endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury.

Statutory Definition of Legal Abortion
First trimester with woman’s consent upon advice of her M.D., after first trimester and before viability with same, but in a hospital. After viability, necessary to preserve life, health of mother

Penalty
Impermissible abortion: Class C felony; mother attempting to procure a miscarriage: Class E felony; M.D. fails to use due care to preserve life of baby born alive or violation of 48-hour waiting period: Class E felony; abortion on non-Tenn. resident: Class C felony; coercion to obtain abortion: Class A misdemeanor; M.D. performs abortion on minor violating consent statute: misdemeanor

Consent
Informed, written consent of mother, 48-hour waiting period between M.D. giving mother information and consent; after viability, same as first trimester except M.D. must certify in writing to the hospital that procedure was necessary; by at least one parent must consent to abortion to be performed on minor; no parental consent necessary if emergency; minor may petition court for waiver

Residency
Mother must produce to M.D. evidence she is bona fide resident prior to procedure except in medical emergency, (but M.D. must still give information to mother)

License
First trimester, licensed M.D. upon his medical advice and woman’s consent; after first trimester to viability, licensed M.D., licensed hospital; after viability, only to preserve life of mother


Inside Tennessee Abortion Laws