A bill that’s been introduced in the Tennessee General Assembly this week would allow a man to request an injunction barring her from having an abortion after he impregnated her. The legislation’s number is SB0494 in the Senate and HB1079 in the House, and it would require a court hearing to be held within 14 days of a petition being filed by a man that seeks an injunction.
If the man can prove that he’s the biological father at the hearing, and if there’s ‘a reasonable probability’ that the woman would obtain an abortion, the court shall issue an injunction which would prohibit her from terminating the pregnancy. Additionally, the proof of parenthood only requires the petitioner to acknowledge paternity, and a DNA test is not required.
The court may hold the woman in civil or criminal contempt if she fails to comply with the injuction by obtaining an abortion, and there are no exceptions.
Sen. Mark Pody (R) and state Rep. Jerry Sxton (R) sponsored the legislation. If enacted into law, it’s likely that the measure will be found unconstitutional.
There have been previous attempts to allow fathers to veto abortions in other states, but all of them have been unsuccessful.